April Ross and Alix Klineman headline AVP’s Manhattan Beach Open
Olympians will be gracing the sands surrounding Manhattan Beach Pier this weekend as the AVP Gold Series returns to Southern California with the AVP Manhattan Beach Open.
With a $250,000 prize purse, it’s the second event of the Gold Series, following the Atlanta Open and preceding the Chicago Open.
Headlining the professional beach volleyball event will be No.1-seeded April Ross and Alix Klineman, who won gold in the women’s event earlier this month at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Both Southern California natives, Klineman won her first beach volleyball medal and Ross won her third medal and first gold.
Ross and Klineman won the Manhattan Beach Open in 2018, then came in second behind Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan in 2019 after a finals match that stretched to nearly an hour and a half.
Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil will also be on the sand as the No. 2 seed. The American team lost in three sets to Canada’s Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson in knockout play at the Tokyo Games.
On the men’s side, Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger enter as the No. 1-seeded team, followed by No. 2-seeded Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb.
Gibb appeared in his fourth Olympics in Tokyo without Crabb, who was slated to be his original partner in the Games. Crabb tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan and could not compete. He had been slated to play, despite two suspensions by USA Volleyball, the second of which was reduced on appeal, allowing him to play.
Instead, 45-year-old Gibb competed with Tri Bourne. The two exited the Olympics after a loss to Germany in the round of 16.
Bourne will also compete in the Manhattan Beach Open, paired with Trevor Crabb as the No. 4 seed. Trevor Crabb took home the 2019 Manhattan title, playing with Reid Priddy.
Nick Lucena rounds out the Olympian appearances and will play alongside TJ Defalco.
Rounds begin Thursday morning, early and Hagen Smith and Robbie Paige, two standouts, beginning at 10:00 am sharp, play Jake Dietrich and Marcus Partain. More men’s and women’s qualifier bracket information is available through AVP.com for the Manhattan Beach Open. The action should be fun and intense. Opening Friday rounds begin in the morning at 7:30 a.m., with gates opening at 7 a.m. Play continues with elimination rounds on Saturday and final rounds on Sunday.
Matches will be live streamed online on Peacock Premium. You can buy tickets here.