We’re just over a month away from our first AVP stop, so I’m not wasting any time getting into our first stop.
The first Pro Series of the year will be just a hop and a skip from our 2022 Ft. Lauderdale location. It’s the earliest event I’ve seen since I joined the AVP almost a decade ago. While initially surprised at the date, I soon learned the reasons we’re heading to Miami Beach early.
March in South Florida is stunning and much preferred to last year’s late-July date. No offense, July. The thousands of families and friend groups who flock to Miami for vacation will be exposed to our beloved AVP, uniquely positioning our athletes to attract and awe new fans. But the best part is we’re linking up with Miami Beach Live!, a four-week health-and-fitness-centric event at Lummus Park on Ocean Drive in South Beach.
Over March’s four weekends, Lummus Park will host fitness classes, volleyball tournaments (including ours!), live entertainment, and more. A week before the AVP, the international King of the Court Tour will feature a fast-paced, high-energy, side-out style event, including some of your favorite AVP names. March 17-19 will bring even more volleyball, not just from us. My alma mater, Florida International University, is hosting its annual Surf & Turf NCAA tournament alongside the famed Model Volleyball event (exactly what it sounds like).
But the main event will, of course, be the first stop of our 2023 AVP Tour. We’re joining the party, offering Stadium seating, an on-site Thursday Qualifier, and all the trappings of your favorite AVP Beach stops.
I cannot wait to see the new partnerships go to work on our beach. Can we please get a Chaim/Tri vs. Trevor/Theo battle on Stadium? Also – did you hear Miles Partian left the UCLA Men’s Indoor team? Does that mean we’ll see him in Miami playing with new partner Andy Benesh? Super hope so. Taylor and Taylor are going strong, looking to add to their win streak. And I can’t help but wonder if Phil Dalhausser is planning on playing with a brand new partner just to see if he can win four tournaments in one calendar year with four different first-time partners.
And then we have our Women, a combination of stellar new and old partnerships. Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng recently won the World Tour Finals in Doha, a tremendous honor and excellent way to start the Olympic Qualification period. Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss and Sarah Sponcil/Terese Cannon, along with Hughes/Cheng, all finished Top 10 at the following weekend’s Elite 16 event. We truly have some of the top teams in the world, and those are just three. Others – like Emily Stockman/Megan Kraft, Kelley Kolinske/Hailey Harward, and Julia Scoles/Betsi Flint – are climbing up said ranks, accruing experience and all-important points together. Kerri Walsh Jennings has announced her return to beach volleyball with fellow Olympic Medalist and indoor legend Logan Tom (Silver for Indoor in 2008 and 2012). Will we see them on our beach this season? Only time, and the impending Miami Beach Entry List, will tell.
Stay tuned for partner updates, Miami Beach Open info, and more at our Instagram and Weekly Digs Newsletters!