Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament Is Back And So Is The ‘Rosie’s Raiders’ Fan Club
Beach volleyball is back in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Actually it never left, as evidenced everyday on courts from 1st to 35 streets, the fact there are tournaments nearly every weekend and top pros like Phil Daulhausser practice here on a regular basis.
But the Association of Volleyball Professionals, or AVP Tour, has not been in Hermosa since 2010 and it is returning to the sand north of the Hermosa Beach Pier the weekend of July 20-23.
Play begins Thursday at 8 a.m., with the preliminary rounds. The main draw beings Friday, continuing into elimination rounds on Saturday, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The finals are Sunday at 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
The final at 1 p.m., will be televised live on NBCSN. Tournament and network officials will determine during the weekend whether or not this will be the men’s or women’s final.
For more than 25 years, the AVP was as much a part of the Hermosa Beach landscape as the pier, the Mermaid and the Poop Deck. It was played here every year from 1984-2010, the home of some heated action between the top competitors in the AVP’s heyday: Smith and Stokles, Hovland and Dodd and Kiraly and Steffas.
For weeks, locals would get charged up for “AVP weekend” as they called it, and when the tournament arrived, they filled the spots around the outside courts and in the main granstands. During and especially after the day’s play they could be found in the bars on The Strand and Pier Plaza. The Poop Deck – now simply called The Deck – and the Mermaid were particularly popular spots and the fans were often joined by the players.
For various reasons – including the demise of the tour before it was re-started and the emergence of FIVB as the world’s premier beach volleyball association– the AVP has not been here since.
This year’s field does not include Daulhausser or Kerri Walsh-Jennings tho it does have Sean Rosenthal, a very popular local player who is sponsored by local Smack Sportwear and has a loud and loyal fan base who call themselves “Rosie’s Raiders.”
The tournament is free to attend for general admission seating, tho the AVP does sell courtside seats for $330 for a group of four at: www.avp.com.