Tour is re­turn­ing to Austin in May

Event at Krieg Fields will be AVP’s first stop here in 12 years.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Suzanne Hal­libur­ton shal­libur­ton@states­man.com

Af­ter a 12-year ab­sence, pro­fes­sional beach vol­ley­ball is com­ing back to Austin.

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Vol­ley­ball Pro­fes­sion­als on Wed­nes­day an­nounced its 2017 sched­ule, which in­cluded a stop in Austin. The event is set for May 18-21 at Krieg Fields in South Austin. It’s one of eight stops the tour will be mak­ing in its sea­son that goes from May to La­bor Day week­end. Aside from Austin, the tour also is re­turn­ing to Her­mosa Beach, Calif.

“We are thrilled to bring beach vol­ley­ball back to these ma­jor met­ro­pol­i­tan cities, in­clud­ing our re­turn to Her­mosa Beach and Austin,” said Don­ald Sun, man­ag­ing part­ner of AVP, in a state­ment to the me­dia. “No mat­ter if you’re the ca­sual beach en­thu­si­ast or a vol­ley­ball fa­natic, our goal is to put on the ul­ti­mate beach ex­pe­ri­ence, whether you’re wit­ness­ing some of the best ath­letes on the sand in com­pelling com­pe­ti­tion or soak­ing up the fes­ti­val area — this is not your av­er­age day at the beach. We are look­ing for­ward to this sea­son and see­ing which vet­er­ans have more to prove and who of the up-and-com­ers will emerge into full suc­cess.”

Beach vol­ley­ball has been a pop­u­lar draw in per­son and on tele­vi­sion for the Olympics since it was in­cluded as a medal sport in 1996. Be­fore the Olympics last year in Rio, Mind­share polled more than 1,000 adults as to what sports they planned to catch on TV. Nearly three quar­ters of the group named vol­ley­ball.

The AVP started in 1983. It last ap­peared in Austin in 2005.

It’s been a plat­form for some of the game’s big­gest stars.

Some of the big­gest names play­ing now in­clude Kerri Walsh Jen­nings, April Ross, Todd Rogers and Phil Dal­hausser. Austin res­i­dent Amanda Dowdy, who starred for Texas Tech, is one of the play­ers on the women’s tour. So is for­mer TCU stand­out Irene Pol­lock.

The lo­cal tour­na­ments also fea­ture an in­ter­ac­tive spon­sor vil­lage, food and an AVP wine and beer gar­den. Gen­eral ad­mis­sion is free.

BUDA MEN­DES / GETTY IMAGES

Amanda Dowdy, an Austin res­i­dent who starred for Texas Tech, is a mem­ber of the women’s vol­ley­ball tour. The AVP stops May 18-21 in Austin.

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