Locals Take to the Sand for MB OpenAug 14, 2014 08:57AM ● By Mb News Staff
Whitney Pavlik and Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrate their 2013 Manhattan Beach Open title. Photo: AVP
Yes, Kerri Walsh Jennings and her husband Casey Jennings, who live in Manhattan Beach, are definitely defending their 2013 Manhattan Beach Open titles in the AVP tournament that starts today.
But other beach volleyball are hitting the sand, too.
Lane Carico, who entered her first MB Open in 2006 at the age of 16, now returns after achieving the honor of AVP women’s rookie of the year in 2013, her first full season on the tour. Born and raised in Manhattan Beach, she is considered a leader in the "next generation" of beach volleyball’s top talent, finishing third in the first two tournaments of her sophomore campaign on the tour.
Other MB locals include Kevin Cleary, Peter Tourigny, Sunny Villapando, and Jace Pardon, who are playing in Thursday's single-elimination qualification brackets on the sand south of the Manhattan Beach Pier.
The top eight men’s teams and the top eight women’s teams will earn entry into the 32-team main draws. These players will get to test their skills against some of the top players in the sport, including many Olympians.
Thursday's event schedule includes the 1:30 p.m. winners "Walk of Fame" ceremony during which the 2013 winners will have their newly installed plaques on the pier publicly unveiled.
The ceremony marks the first time a husband and wife – Casey Jennings and Kerri Walsh Jennings – will have their names side-by-side on the pier as the first married couple to win the tournament in their respective brackets in the same year.
Main draw play begins Friday at 9 a.m. and continues through 6 p.m. Saturday play runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday competition begins at 8:15 a.m. and is expected to go until about 3 p.m. The women's finals are set for Sunday at 1 p.m., with the men's finals set for 2 p.m.
The entire tournament is free to spectators on a first-come, first-served basis in the general admission areas around the courts. Fans should arrive early to reserve their seats.
VIP tickets for Club AVP offer access to a shaded hospitality skybox with light snacks and beverage, a cash bar, access to player meet and greets and after parties, and a VIP gift bag. Courtside boxes include access to a private box with seating for up to six people, chairs, umbrella, table, VIP gift bags, bottled water, one beverage voucher per person and more.