AVPNext and AVPFirst Duluth on Fox and ABC News

The AVP Next and AVP First tournaments are coming to Duluth, MN! Check out these interviews that our hosts at Skyline Lanes did with Fox21 and ABC 10/13 Duluth!

1. Fox21 Duluth on May 8, 2018 with Natalie Froistad

2017 AVPNext in Otsego, MN

Our hosts, Corey Kolquist and Megan Bell of Skyline Lanes, had the opportunity to talk with Fox21 about the AVP tournament being held later this month in Hermantown. Click here for Corey and Megan’s appearance on Fox21.

2. ABC 10/13 Duluth:  For the entire interview on ABC, click here

ABC News Press Release: Duluth, MN: Volleyball players are taking over Skyline Lanes in Hermantown later this month for a pair of AVP tournaments. AVP is a US professional beach volleyball league that features elite players from all over the country.

The AVPFirst tournament is on Saturday, May 26. Age divisions here include 14U, 16U, and 18U. General Manager of Skyline Lanes, Cory Kolquist, says The best young players from around our region and down in the Twin Cities are among those registered to compete.

Then, on Sunday, May 27, the AVPNext tournament will take place. AVP says this is where elite amateur players earn qualification points as well as an opportunity to earn professional points. Teams of two will square off against each other. There will be a Men’s and Women’s Open division.

For more information about these events, check out the AVP First Duluth and AVP Next Duluth pages.

We’re excited to bring beach volleyball to Duluth!

UCLA Bruins Win 2018 National Championship

NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament: UCLA Bruins, 2018 National Champions!

UCLA Sprint to 2018 National Beach Championship

By Stephen McCarthy, Prepvolleyball.com

Gulf Shores, AL: UCLA’s all-around game proves too much for Florida State Seminoles’ power. UCLA cruises to the their first NCAA Beach National Championship.

In the day’s first match, UCLA narrowly escaped from a tenacious and determined Hawaii team. With UCLA leading 2-1, Hawaii needed a set win on court 2 to stay alive. Lea Monkhouse and Morgan Martin of Hawaii delivered a 25-23 win. After the final set point, the entire crowd sprinted to court 3 to see if UCLA would advance or Hawaii would extend the match. UCLA came from 9-5 down to even the 3rd set at 11, but Hawaii closed out the match to even the dual at 2 a piece. Attention turned back to the court 2 third set, the winner would advance to the finals. UCLA’s Lily Justine and Sarah Sponcil took 8 of the final 12 points to win the match and the dual for UCLA.

The finals match was a showcase of UCLA’s offensive and defensive skills from the start. UCLA jumped out to a quick lead to neutralize Florida State’s big home court advantage. UCLA continued to keep the pressure up on every court with Florida State never seeming to gain any momentum. In the end, UCLA finished off Florida State in classic beach volleyball style; creative and aggressive shot-making and great athletic touches on defense.

Top Pair of the Tournament:
1. UCLA: Nicole and Megan McNamara, The combination of tough jump serves, running the option offense to perfection, and gritty defense lead the Bruin’s match after match. During the entire weekend, the twins did not make many unforced errors and when another pair challenged them, they responded with a great touch, a big serve, or a creative attack to turn the match in their favor.

NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament: Day 2

Hawaii and Florida State Go toe to toe.

By Stephen McCarthy, Prepvolleyball.com

Gulf Shores, AL: The intensity of Day 2 at Gulf Shores started as soon as California rivals USC and Pepperdine squared off in the first match, in which, USC prevailed and eliminated the number two seed Pepperdine. After being upset in Day 1, UCLA returned to the court with an edge and moved quickly past LSU and USC on the day. But the dual of the day was Florida State and Hawaii took the courts. With the help a raucous home crowd, Florida State took 3 of 4 third sets to win the dual and punch their ticket to the finals.

With Tallahassee a short 3 hour drive from Gulf Shores, AL, the atmosphere was decidedly pro-Florida State. A slow start by Hawaii in 4 out of the 5 matches made it look and sound like it would be a blowout, but Hawaii rode out the crowd and took a small lead into the second sets. The tables continued to turn in Hawaii’s favor as Hawaii traded set wins and winning one match. With four of the five matches going three and the FSU faithful sprinting from court to court to court to watch the third sets. It came down to a windy court 5, Madison Fitzpatrick and Francesca Goncalves of FSU prevailed 15-12 to advance the team, 3-2 to the finals. With the loss, Hawaii-UCLA will play for a chance to play FSU in the finals.

Top Pairs of the Day:
1. UCLA: Nicole and Megan McNamara, It is not that they win, it is how they win. The pair show a big serve to win points, come back with big touches and great sets to unleash an array of creative attack shots that, more times than not, land in their intended spot. A unique pair of creative young players and the best team in the tournament.

2. USC: Abril Bustamante and Tina Graudina, decidedly improved from Day 1. Abril played with an injured hand and the pair blistered LSU and UCLA with power and solid defense. In second match, Abril and Tina went toe-to-toe with the McNamara’s. The match ended all square, 17-17 in the third set, when the match was called as UCLA advanced to the next round.

2018 NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament: Day 1

By Stephen McCarthy, Prepvolleyball.com

Gulf Shores, AL: Day 1 Action at the 2018 NCAA Beach Championships was a combination of great weather, top teams in the nation and one of the best beach volleyball venues in the United States. The top seeds won their first round duals easily. The first upset of the day occurred when Florida State broke top-seeded UCLA’s 30 dual win streak in a very close match and then number two seed Pepperdine lost to three seed Hawaii, 3-2.

The day started under sunny skies and gusts of wind up to 15 mph off the Gulf of Mexico. Each of the 8 teams played an opening round with the top four seeds winning each of their duals. In the winners bracket, Florida State controlled the match from the beginning, taking 4 of the 5 first sets from UCLA. UCLA stood up and started to mount a comeback that was too little, too late, they had dug a hole too deep to overcome. Hawaii and Pepperdine’s dual was much different. Hawaii made the initial move in the first sets, but Pepperdine clawed back to win 3 of the 5 first sets. During the second sets, Hawaii turned the tables and won 2 of the 3 matches with courts 4 and 5 going to a third set. Ultimately, Hawaii’s Paige Dreeuws and Hannah Zalopany prevailed 15-13 in the third to win the dual for Hawaii.

Top Pairs of the Day:
1. Hawaii: Ka’iwi Schucht and Emily Maglio, a traditional beach volleyball pair of a big blocker/big power and a great defender. They ground out points with great touches and used the big power when they needed it most. They won both of their matches against South Carolina and Pepperdine.
2. UCLA: Nicole and Megan McNamara, controlled both of their matches with their all-around game. Their great ball control and setting, the occasional big hit and crafty scoring defeated Florida International and Florida State.
3. Pepperdine: Deahna Kraft and Corinne Quiggle, outside of losing a highly contested match against Hawaii’s top pair, Deahna and Corrine won their first match in convincing fashion with their trademark efficient play. They continually had outstanding touches on defense, which lead to scoring at a high level. In the end, a couple unforced errors at the wrong time cost them the match against Hawaii.

2018 NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament: Preview

By Stephen McCarthy, PrepVolleyball.com

Gulf Shores, AL: “Sweet Home Alabama” rings true. The top teams in the nation will be making the annual trek to the NCAA Beach Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama the first week of May. Since 2012, the white sand shores of the Gulf of Mexico have hosted the NCAA tournament, and before the AVCA National Championships. From a pool of 69 NCAA programs, the top 8 teams were selected by the NCAA selection committee to compete in a double-elimination tournament the first week of May to crown the 2018 championship team. This years teams include: UCLA, Pepperdine, Hawaii, Florida International, Florida State, USC, South Carolina, and Louisiana State.

The Early Favorites:

UCLA: They have earned the top seed for the first time in their history and are on a 30 match win streak that includes every team in the field. Outside of USC, they have consistently been one of the top 3 teams in the nation and look poised to take the championship this year. The team is a combination of talent and experience with one of their top players, Elise Zappia, becoming the first Bruin player to reach 100 victories in their career. Interesting Fact: Their top team, Nicole and Megan McNamara, are twins and hail from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Pepperdine: Carrying a record of 24-3 with 2 of the 3 losses to top seed UCLA, Pepperdine may not have the athletes across the board like other teams, but they always know how to maximize their talents and compete with the best. Interesting Fact: After a legendary coaching career and her involvement in creating the college sport of beach volleyball, Nina Matthies, will be retiring after this season.

Hawaii: Head Coach Jeff Hall has the Sandbows on track to compete for Hawaii’s first beach volleyball championship. After a 5-3 start to the season, the Sandbows completed the season with 30 straight victories and won the Big West Conference Championship. In head to head duals with UCLA, they are 2-1. Interesting Fact: Coach Jeff Hall grew up in cold, snowy state of Minnesota.

Stephen’s Picks:
Hawaii and UCLA in the championship with a Hawaii victory, 3-2.

The Problem With Social Media Isn’t The Media, It’s The Social

Robert Tracinski

By

There is now widespread agreement that social media is a problem. In describing his hiring at The Atlantic and abrupt firing at the behest of a Twitter mob, Kevin Williamson concludes that the problem is how “the rage-fueled tribalism of social media, especially Twitter, has infected the op-ed pages and, to some extent, the rest of journalism.”

That’s a good summary of this dystopian phase of the new media. Despite the promise that the Internet would supercharge the propagation of new ideas, it seems to be having the opposite effect, narrowing people’s minds and crippling their ability to process new ideas and cope with ideological dissent.

But what if the problem with social media isn’t the medium, but the “social” part? Every social media company sells itself to us by talking about how they’re bringing the world together and helping to “build communities.” Mark Zuckerberg talks about this sort of thing endlessly. But what if all this community-building is the problem? What if it is just functioning as an engine of conformity, tribalism, and small-mindedness?

For entire post, click here

Rethinking Elite Performance and Modifying Genetic Codes of Athletes

A couple years back I wrote and article about designer athletes and elite performance, here is a post by SkyWatchTV entertaining the same line of questioning, who would like to compete against genetically modified athletes? Is this fair?

Here is an excerpt from my post from 2015:

For all of us who lived in the 1980’s, Rocky in Rocky IV gets absolutely demolished by the genetically and medically-enhanced Russian boxer, but refuses to quit, he wins right? The evil Russians were cheating anyways, right?    Within this context, enter synthetic gene drive technology with the capability of creating designer athletes.  Oh, I mean genetically modified human beings, we win right?

UPDATE: 5/13/16 New York Times: Scientists Hold Secret Meeting To Create Synthetic Genome

Here is an excerpt from the SkyWatch Post.

And in the not-so-distant future, athletes could cheat in a way that’s even harder, if not impossible, to detect. It’s called gene doping. Scientists are figuring out how to literally rewrite our genetic code through genetic modification and gene editing. That means tomorrow’s athletes could take the field with genes purposely, synthetically altered. How would that work? you may wonder. (READ MORE)

Beach Partner: A Solution for Finding A Beach Volleyball Partner

Matt Olson and Kara Hill are excited to announce a solution for finding a beach volleyball partner! It’s the biggest problem on the sand, and as a club director we are certain it’s difficult for you to manage.

Discover this revolutionary app for beach volleyball!

Finding your next beach volleyball partner is as easy as swiping right with Beach Partner.

Does a visit to the beach conjure up magical memories you had as a child? Toes in the sand, building sand castles, the sound of the crashing waves and sunshine on your cheeks? With Beach Partner, you can still have that magic when you play on the sand. Beach Partner is an online destination helping bring players of all ages together to turn their sand volleyball dreams into a reality.

Beach Partner. . .coming soon to Apple and Android stores!

View player profiles
Match up with potential partners
Customize your individual profile
Master calendar with every beach volleyball event in the nation; including camps, showcases, and tournaments
Let potential partners know you’re available to play
Connect with other players
Share video highlights
Build a personalized tournament calendar

Complete the pre-registration form on their website to gain early access to the app. The first 100 registrants will win Beach Partner swag! Click here.

NJCAA announces addition of beach volleyball

Colorado Springs, CO – At the 2018 NJCAA Annual Meetings, the Board of Directors passed the adoption of beach volleyball to become a full-time varsity sport in 2019, the first sport added to the association since half marathon and women’s lacrosse in 2003-2004.

Programs will be able to field teams beginning in the fall of 2018 with the official competitive season beginning in the spring of 2019. The first official national championship will be held in the spring of 2021, the 48th NJCAA national championship event.

Mary Young, head volleyball coach at Central (NE), Vice President of the NJCAA Volleyball Coaches Association, and Region IX Women’s Director served as the lead throughout the adoption process. “It’s an exciting time for the NJCAA with the addition of the sport of beach volleyball,” Young expressed. “This addition will provide endless opportunities to our member schools and most importantly to our student-athletes.”

The NJCAA partnered with the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) during the course of the four-year progression. AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer expressed her enthusiasm of a collegiate organization adding the sport. “Beach volleyball, played as a tennis-style, flighted team sport, is relatively new to the college scene. The growth has been remarkable with over 70 four-year colleges adding programs in just six years. This forward-looking vote by the NJCAA will open new opportunities to attract student-athletes to its campuses and give options to those wanting to move on.”

For entire post, visit here.

Foundations of Passing with Olympic Coach Davenport

Hermosa Beach Spring Training Camp 2018 with Scott Davenport and Adam Schulz of AVP Academy

ProjectU and TMP Beach partnered with one of the great teachers of the game in Olympic Coach and AVP Academy Director Scott Davenport.

During this short video, Scott Davenport talked  about the goals of passing and answers the following questions:

  1.  What is the definition of a perfect pass and where would the perfect pass land?
  2. What is a realistic pass in world of beach volleyball?
  3. How do the elements change this realistic pass mentality? What are the realistic expectations for passing?
  4. What is the difference between a expected pass and an acceptable pass, or a bad pass?
  5. When teaching youth players what is an acceptable expectation for passing?
  6. What is the concept of “travel” in beach volleyball?

For the entire video, click here.  For more information on the AVP Academy. click here.  For how you can access this type of teaching, visit our ProjectU Collegiate Beach Clinic and Showcase event information, click here