April 15, 2022 - This weekend is a significant one in Christian circles. Good Friday. Easter Sunday. The biggest day of the year outside of Christmas. And all over the country, many will be celebrating by enjoying health of both mind and body, playing beach volleyball on stomachs filled with Reese’s peanut butter eggs, fueling for matches by the readily-available sugar of marshmallow peeps – if that’s your thing – and gigantic, chocolate, Easter bunnies.
Oh, yes. There’s still volleyball being played this weekend. While entry lists are understandably smaller than usual, given the significance of the weekend, tournaments are being hosted from Nashville to Tulsa, Florida to California. There are tournaments with whimsical names, such as the Rockstar Bunny Hop, held in St. Pete’s, Fla., and those with the run-of-the-mill monikers, such as the 210 Beach AVPAmerica Junior Qualifier.
That’s the biggest event of the weekend, the only 2-Star being held. It was initially scheduled to coincide with a men’s and women’s open with a significant purse, but Easter weekend had diminished the entry lists to the point of postponement. The juniors, then, are the main, and only, attraction in San Antonio, highlighted by college recruits Saide Nelson, Elin Kaiser, Karryn Garrow, and Rhea Kohl in the 18U division. Gentry Barker and Leann Wise are set to “battle each other,” as 210 Beach coach Jason Kaiser said, in the 16U division, while Kiah McCoy, a “rising star,” will headline the 14U.
Kaiser was correct in his assessment that entry lists would be a bit smaller all throughout the country. At iBeach31, just four teams are registered in the 16U division, led by Ally Bunch and Mckenzie Conner, Emersyn Weaver and Kate Eastman, and Iris Williams and Katie Robinson.
At Nona Sports, six teams are registered, topped by Skye Douglass and Kayla Pita, Karsyn Smith and Sofia Ventimiglia, and Paige Boeneman and Ally Leach.
At Charlotte Beach, however, several divisions are filling up, particularly the 18U, which has seven teams currently. At the top of the seeding is Kayla Voelker and Elly Davis, Savannah DeCarlo and Reagan Peterson, and Lyvia Trimp and Addison Beaver. The 16U division is led by Addie Marinack and Evan Dibrell, Efrosyni Tripodes and Ava Kaminski, and Samantha Anderson and Sofia Petrucci. Heading the list of 14U entrants is Benedetta Andexler and Georgia Raby, and Madelyn Wyatt and Kiara Capistran.
Vero Beach’s junior series is filling up nicely, with 14 teams populating the entry list in the 18U and 16U divisions. Traci Schrock and Reese Edwards top the 18U, followed by Katy Dalton and Allesandra Lane, Mia Sukeena and Katelyn Nadeau. Isabella Ramos and Vanessa Moriarty are the favorites in the 16U, succeeded by Marissa Peck and Vittoria Lane, and Senna Thayer and Allie Burroughs.
The Sand Club in Gilbert, Arizona, meanwhile, has completely full divisions in both the 16U and 14U, with eight open spots remaining in 18U. The top seed in the 16U division is Dissy Brinkerhoff and Elle Evers, while No. 2 is Addison Campbell and Kobie Fowler, and No. 3 is Chelsea Erhart and Brinkley Graham. At the top of the 14U seeding is Mila Alo and Chelsea Erhart, Sienna Logsdon and Alyssa York, and Erin Clark and Brenna Walsh.
BeachVB Santa Cruz is enjoying a similarly full tournament, with every single division completely full, though no seeding is yet available.
At Titan Performance Volleyball, in Slidell, Louisiana, the 18U division is led by Ava Koehl and Cadie Kusy, Allison Howard and Morgan Perry, and Dixie Farish and Bailey Hope. The 14U, meanwhile, is also led by a Koehl, this one Anna and partner Isabella Bravata, while Brianna Litolff and Taylor Litolff are the No. 2, and Mia Lopez and Mallie Mahoney are 3.
No seeding is currently available for tournaments being held by Nashville Beach, Blue Beach Volleyball, Beach Elite, and a pair of CBVAs.
~ Travis Mewhirter: @trammew