2023 AVP Gold Series Atlanta Open Preview


I’m more excited for the Atlanta Open than I’ve ever been.

First – the Entry List is elite from top to bottom – everyone will be there. More on that in a minute. 

Second – Atlanta is always a wildcard on weather. While some find this daunting, I find it exhilarating. I love the adversity, all of us working together to figure out the best solutions to combat Mother Nature. I’m not saying I want a thunderstorm or anything; just saying that we’ve had fun as a team working around them in years past. 

Third – we know ATL better than ever before. We’re hanging with the Falcons in Flowery Branch and catching a game with the Braves. Rally Volleyball will be bringing local high schools and universities to catch some matches, the new Atlanta Pro Indoor Volleyball team will be announcing their new name on our sand, and Atlanta celebrities and influencers will be in attendance…. I’m gonna meet so many cool people, and our sport is going to mint a bunch of new fans.

Fourth – the Women’s and Men’s Finals will be LIVE on ESPN2! This is so huge for our sport, to be nationally televised on the biggest sports network in the U.S. In addition to being streamed all weekend long on ESPN+, Bally Live, and TSN+ in Canada – being live on Sunday afternoon nationwide will bring new fans to our beloved sport. With the collective mission to grow the game, this is a win for all of us. Don’t forget to tune in or set your DVRs for ESPN2 at 12PM ET! 

But really, I’m most excited about the competition. We have 14 Olympians, who represented three different countries, playing in the Atlanta Open. In the city that introduced beach volleyball to the Olympics in ‘96, that stat is significant.

We have six Women’s Teams in the Top 13 of Olympic Ranking, in this order: Sara Hughes/Kelly Cheng, Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss, Sarah Sponcil/Terese Cannon, Betsi Flint/Julia Scoles, Melissa Humana-Paredes/Brandie Wilkerson. Even though the last team is Canadian, you have permission to root for them. Theo Brunner/Trevor Crabb, Chaim Schalk/Tri Bourne, and Miles Partain/Andy Benesh are all in the Top 20 of Men’s Olympic Rankings. 

The rest of the field remains stacked, too. Phil Dalhausser and Alison are both Olympic Gold medalists; they have hung up their international uniforms but remain in board shorts on the AVP. Larissa is the winningest woman in beach volleyball; Hermosa winners Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn are ready to repeat. Volleyball great Sarah Pavan is teaming up with last year’s winner Geena Urango for the first time. And John Hyden comes back (from retirement? That part was never clear) to be the only 50-year-old to ever play in an AVP Main Draw (learn how he does it here). 

The athletes are ready to battle the heat as much as each other out here in Atlantic Station. But fans don’t have to sweat it; we’ve got AC in multiple VIP sections and plenty of high, breezy stands to accommodate your whole crew all weekend. Check out our new ticket packages, including multi-day and 4-pack discounts. 

And if all that doesn’t get you stoked – remember last year in ATL when all four players on the court skyballed, one right after the other, including Phil Dalhausser? I do. If ATL can bring out that playful side of the GOAT, then I can’t wait to go back.

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