Professional beach volleyball takes over downtown St. Petersburg this weekend

Posted by Chris Girandola on Fri, May 30, 2014 at 4:40 AM

NET WORTH: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and 2012 Olympic silver medalist April Ross highlight the field in the AVP St. Petersburg Open. - MPU DINANI
  • Mpu Dinani
  • NET WORTH: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and 2012 Olympic silver medalist April Ross highlight the field in the AVP St. Petersburg Open.

For the second year in a row, Spa Beach Park in downtown St. Petersburg will transport itself into an elite beach volleyball venue when some of the world's best players compete in the AVP St. Petersburg Open Tournament, the opening event for the Association of Volleyball Professionals. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and Olympic gold medalist and Sunshine State native Phil Dalhausser highlight the 16-team men's and women's main draw that begins Friday and lasts until Sunday.

The field also includes many native Floridians and current residents of the state, among them Brooke Sweat (Estero), Megan Wallin (Sarasota), and Raquel Ferreira, a St. Pete resident by way of Brazil.

The tournament began on Thursday with qualifying play, featuring 16 women's teams and 51 men's teams that battled at Clearwater Beach to become one of the four from each gender's bracket to advance in to main draw. Floridians Aurora Davis (Groveland), Kelly Schumacher (Miami Beach) and Dana Camacho (Deerfield) were the three representatives from the Sunshine State to advance through Thursday's open qualifying tournament.

As the lowest seed in the women's qualifier (ninth) to advance, Davis and Schumacher will be seeded at the bottom of the main-draw bracket and will face top-seeded Emily Day and Summer Ross in a 10 a.m. first-round match Friday. Branagan Fuller (Greensboro, N.C.) and Caley Redden (Stokesdale, N.C.) will be seeded 15th and will meet three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and 2012 Olympic silver medalist April Ross, seeded second, in the first round.

Camacho, who along with teammate Kyle Radde (Mishawaka, Ind.) was seeded 26th in the men's qualifier, upset the seventh, 10th and second-seeded teams Thursday to advance to the main draw. They'll get the honor of facing top-seeded men Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson — winner of five AVP tournaments, including St. Petersburg last season — in a 10 a.m. first-round match Friday.

Tickets for the AVP St. Petersburg Open start at just $10 and can be purchased at the gate or at AVP.com. Kids 10 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult, and VIP options are available.

Updated main-draw brackets, reflecting the teams who qualified Thursday, can be found online, and Sunday's men's and women's finals will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Earlier matches will be shown on AVP.com via CBS Interactive Advanced Media.

AVP St. Petersburg Open Quick Facts:

Dates:
May 29 | Open Qualifier
May 30-June 1 | Main Draw

Location
Spa Beach
615 Second Ave. N.E.
St. Petersburg


Schedule
Friday, May 30,  10 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET
Saturday, May 31, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET
Sunday, June 1, 8:30 - 4 p.m. ET
1 p.m. Men's Final
2 p.m. Women's Final
Schedule is subject to change. 


Tickets are $10-$75. Three-Day Pass is $35 or $40.  Children 10 and under will be admitted free with a ticketed adult, and groups purchasing 10 or more tickets will receive a 25 percent discount

TV: Matches will be streamed live at www.avp.com Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday from
9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from noon-1 p.m. ET

Sunday's men's and women's finals will air live on CBS Sports Network starting at 1 p.m. ET.

2014 AVP pro beach volleyball tour schedule
May 30 - June 1 AVP St. Petersburg Open Spa Beach Park
St. Petersburg, Fla.
July 3-6 AVP Milwaukee Open Bradford Beach
Milwaukee
Aug. 7-10 AVP Salt Lake City Open Liberty Park
Salt Lake City
Aug. 14-17 AVP Manhattan Beach Open South Side of Pier
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Aug.  28-31 AVP Cincinnati Open
Lindner Family Tennis Center
Mason, Ohio
Sept. 5-7 DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational New Jersey Avenue and the boardwalk adjacent to Showboat and Revel
(Atlantic City, N.J.)
Sept. 19-22 AVP Championships at Huntington Beach


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