Randy Angel

AVP Hermosa Beach Open volleyball tourney includes future, current stars

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Former Mira Costa High School standout Alix Klineman is enjoying success with partner April Ross. Klineman returns from a minor injury to compete in the AVP Hermosa Beach Open this weekend. Photo by Ray Vidal

By Randy Angel

The fifth AVP beach volleyball tournament of the season takes place this weekend when the Hermosa Beach Open is held, featuring many local present and future stars of the sport.

The four-day competition begins Thursday and will feature Austin Open winner Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach) and partner and two-time Olympic medalist April Ross, Emily Stockman (Hermosa Beach), defending champions Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb (Hermosa Beach) and Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser (Redondo Beach).

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Klineman and Ross won the AVP Austin Open in May with third-place finishes in the AVP Gold Series event in New York City and the San Francisco Open.

“Our partnership has been great. April has so much experience and there’s always new things I’m able to learn from her,” Klineman said. “She’s super competitive but also patient, so it’s a great combination. It’s a long process but overall, I think we’ve grown a lot as a team and we’re so much better than even a few months ago.”
Klineman missed the AVP Seattle Open with an aggravated shoulder. Ross partnered with Caitlin Ledoux as the pair finished second in the tournament.
“My recovery is going well. Unfortunately, my shoulder got really flared up after Austin and instead of powering through it and making it worse in the long term, we decided it was best for me to take some time and get ahead of it,” Klineman said. “It feels a lot better now. I’ve had shoulder issues on and off for a long time so it’s not something that is going to go away overnight, but I’m doing everything I can to be diligent and make sure my shoulder continues to be as healthy as possible.
“I’m so excited to be playing in Hermosa this weekend. The tournament is just a few blocks from where I live and just a few minutes from where I grew up. It’ll be fun to have my friends and family there, and I think all the Southern California tournaments carry a little extra weight.”

Missing this weekend will be Hermosa Beach’s Emily Day and teammate Betsi Flint, who will be competing at the FIVB tournament in Tokyo.

Day, who won the 2017 AVP Hermosa Beach Open with Brittany Hochevar, is continuing her success with Flint. The duo is coming off a FIVB gold-medal performance in Haiyang, China and won the last two AVP events in San Francisco and Seattle.

The 2018 Hermosa Beach Open will be made up of 24 Main Draw teams for men and women- 14 auto entries, 2 wild cards and 8 qualifier teams.

The tournament begins with Qualification play on Thursday, from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., followed by Opening Rounds on Friday, Elimination Rounds on Saturday, concluding with Semifinals and Finals on Sunday, all beginning at 9 a.m.

Hermosa Beach has a storied history with beach volleyball and the AVP. In 1984, the AVP’s inaugural season, there was an event in Hermosa Beach but not Manhattan Beach.

In 1990. NBC’s first ever telecast of beach volleyball took place at the Hermosa Beach event.  Every year from 1984 through 2010, Hermosa Beach was a cornerstone in the AVP schedule. In 2017, the event returned to Hermosa Beach to become a cornerstone in the schedule again.

General Admission is free with competition being comprised of 24 Main Draw teams for men and women- 14 auto entries, 2 wild cards, 8 qualifier teams.

Also taking place this weekend in Hermosa Beach will be the youth AVPFirst National Championships showcasing the stars of tomorrow.

All nine finals will be on Stadium court and will include a full introduction and production from the AVP staff, as well as being streamed on Amazon Prime.

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