My favorite weekend of the year is finally here!
The AVP returns to SoCal with the 2023 Hermosa Beach Pro Open, this time in the backyard of nearly half the athletes. The deep sands, laid-back vibe, and rich beach volleyball culture of Hermosa make this one of the best-attended and ultra-fun events every year. What’s more, Hermosa Beach is a storied event site. Its first beach volleyball event dates back to 1984, just one year after the AVP was founded.
ANOTHER EXTRA SPECIAL HERMOSA ELEMENT
This year, Hermosa has even more in store than our Pro event. The AVP is also hosting two Juniors events alongside the tournament: The AVP Juniors National Championship and The US Beach Club Championship, the latter in partnership with USA Volleyball. Fans can cheer on hundreds of kids playing right alongside the pros. Two Meet & Greets with AVP athletes on the Thursday before and Monday after the Pro tournament will give the kids unrivaled access to their heroes – heroes who are living the dreams of tomorrow made on Hermosa’s sands today.
That’s some wholesome content right there for ya.
A QUALIFIER OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
The Hermosa Beach Open is also different because it’s the first 2023 AVP tournament without an on-site qualifier. While that means one less day of action for Hermosa fans, the recent Virginia Beach Tour Series boasted premier talent and epic matches to advance each gender’s top four teams to Hermosa.
Hagen Smith and Logan Webber won it for the Men, beating Brazilian legend Alison and AVP legend Billy Allen in the final. Both finalists, plus the teams they beat in the semis (John Hamilton / Travis Mewhirter and John-Michael Plummer / Lev Priima), will now play in Hermosa.
On the Women’s side, Macy Jerger and Megan Rice bested Carly Skjodt and Geena Urango in a close final. They’re joined in the Hermosa Main Draw by Kim Hildreth/Teegan Van Gunst and Lexy Denaburg/Carly Kan.
Another Hermosa bid was given to the winners of a three-event CBVA series here in SoCal. Spencer Sauter and Dylan Maarek earned the spot with impressive 2nd, 2nd, and 1st finishes. The Women’s CBVA bid went to UCLA partners Devon Newberry and Jaden Whitmarsh after three hard-fought weekends, where they finished 5th, 1st, and 2nd.
A COUPLE OF MEN’S HIGHLIGHTS
2022 Hermosa Beach Open Runners-Up Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander look to claim the title that slipped through their claws last summer. Theo Brunner and Trevor Crabb are back for their second AVP showing of the year; they come in as the #2 seed behind the #1-seeds/New Orleans Champs Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk.
I know I’ve said this before, but I’m just putting it out there again: can we please get an ex-partnership battle between those two teams STAT?!
We also can’t miss the Men’s Main Draw shakeup between Huntington and Hermosa. Troy Field and Evan Cory have partnered up to finish out the season together (more about that in the AVP + McKibbin collab “Dating Game” video).
A COUPLE OF WOMEN’S HIGHLIGHTS
In just their second AVP together, MBO Champ Kelley Kolinske and partner Hailey Harward are coming in as the top dogs. The Women’s field is packed with scrappy teams looking to get their first wins together; there are no women’s teams in the Hermosa Beach Open who have won an AVP Pro Series together! Lili/Larissa and Jerger/Rice are the only two teams to have won an event together, all of them being Tour series events.
SEE YOU ON THE SAND
With all the biggest names in Men’s beach volleyball in Hermosa and all the raw potential on the Women’s side, Hermosa Beach is gearing up to be a stunner. Our Stadium will mirror Huntington Beach, kissing the pier for optimal viewing. But remember:
- General Admission into the stands is always free in Hermosa,
- The shady, elevated experiences of Club AVP and Courtside Boxes are almost gone. Act fast if you want to level up.