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What Are The AVP Athletes Up To?

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From winning worldwide to momentous life changes, our AVP athletes are busy!

The final Tour Stop of the 2022 AVP season saw some familiar winners. Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng took the title in their first AVP event together in four years. Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander kept their AVP win streak running with their undefeated run to the Huntington Beach Tour Series championship.

Miles Partain and Andy Benesh earned gold at their first Challenger event together in Dubai. The duo looked unstoppable, and their new partnership gives USA Volleyball fans a lot to look forward to. In the same event where Benesh/Partain took Gold, Julia Scoles and Katie Horton grabbed the Bronze at the first of two events in Dubai. Horton has had a solid off-season. She and Scoles earned 4th place a week after their Bronze. Then, with Brooke Bauer, Horton took 2nd place against Cheng/Hughes in Huntington.

Tons of Americans have been winning all over the globe. Chase Budinger and Troy Field took 2nd place in the Maldives Challenger. Molly Turner and Madelyne Anderson earned 2nd place in the second Challenger in Dubai. Sarah Sponcil and Terese Cannon took 2nd place in the Elite FIVB in Cape Town, South Africa. A week later, after traveling to Brazil by way of Europe, the Hermosa AVP Champs missed the Uberlandia Elite Semifinals by just two points, losing 13-15 in the 5th-place round.

When not traveling worldwide, Sponcil is getting involved and giving back at home. She recently spoke about leadership and service at a St. Vincent De Paul event in her hometown of Phoenix, AZ.

April Ross and Phil Dalhausser are imparting their four decades’ worth of experience and knowledge to lucky clinic attendees. Their beach volleyball clinic in Santa Monica was a roaring success, hosting hundreds of players and coaches like Sponcil, Cannon, Kyle Friend, and Eric Beranek, among others.

Speaking of Beranek, he and girlfriend Geena Urango are as goofing around as always, skyballing in the backyard with their adorable dog.

You have to wonder how the other halves of the Hughes/Cheng reunion are doing. Kelley Kolinske is recovering and rehabbing from knee surgery and most likely securing another partner for the 2023 season. And Betsi Flint acted as a stunt double for Disney’s Big Shot Season 2! Finally, a volleyball scene that actually looks like our sport.

Another big split in the volleyball world was Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes. The two AVP stars had been together for five years, but their 2022 season was less than stellar. They broke up days before Humana-Paredes played Chicago’s AVP Gold Series event with fellow Candian Brandie Wilkerson, sending the rumor mill churning. Sure enough, a few weeks later, Brandie and Mel announced they’re going for Paris 2024 together. Brandie’s former partner Sophie Bukovec then wisely linked up with Pavan! Just a little switcheroo over the border, creating two new excellent teams and a brewing rivalry.

I’m a save-the-best-for-last kind of gal, so had to wait to share these two.

Emily Day wed her longtime partner Iman Capers just a few weeks ago at a stunning ceremony in Palm Springs. And then, just days later, Travis and Delaney Mewhirter announced they are pregnant!

Congrats on all the happiness (and sorry if I missed anyone else’s meaningful life changes or happy news)!

 

Category: Athlete Stories, Current Season, Fun, Lifestyle

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