AVP New York City

AVP New York: A Long Sunday, an Excellent Sunday, of Top Notch Volleyball

Manhattan is the smallest and most densely populated borough of New York City. New York County is the most densely populated county in the United States.

If you’re in New York – or tuning in to AVP New York on Amazon Prime – you’ll have noticed something different on Sunday this year.

There’s volleyball.

A lot of it.

Typically, Sundays are reserved exclusively for semifinals and finals. This isn’t just on the AVP, either. The FIVB does it, too. It oftentimes makes for a slow-paced day. Matches are slower because of the extra timeouts for NBC. Stadium court hosts every match so as to, wisely, keep stadium court packed and entertained.

Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, you know?

But this Sunday is, to put it simply, quite awesome, if you’re a volleyball fan, because there’s more volleyball. Four extra quarterfinals matches to watch. One, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb vs. Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger, was actually a final just a little more than a month ago, in Huntington Beach. The other, Troy Field and Tim Bomgren vs. Chaim Schalk and Jeremy Casebeer, was a quarterfinal in Huntington Beach and a semifinal in Austin.

As it went in Huntington, Gibb and Crabb topped Patterson and Budinger. And, for the third straight tournament, the aerialist Field and Minnesotan Bomgren made yet another semifinal, their third in as many tries as a team.

It’s exceptionally high-level volleyball. And a lot of it.

The women’s side was no different. It only featured, oh, Emily Day and Betsi Flint, multi-winners in 2018 against Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman, one of the top teams in the country who haven’t yet made their AVP breakthrough.

The bottom half pitted Austin’s winners, Karissa Cook and Jace Pardon and one of the most exciting young teams not just in the country, but the world, in Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil.

And, usually, that would be it. The winners of those matches would see one another and that would be the day. A good day no doubt. An excellent day. And yet, on an expanded Sunday in New York, that is but an appetizer, whetting the appetite for four more semifinal matches and two finals, where names like Dalhausser and Ross and Lucena and Klineman and Ross again and Hughes and Rosenthal and Ricardo will also be called.

It is a bit more of a burden on the players, sure, the extra quarterfinal match. But for the fans, and particularly the local ones who only get one AVP stop per year in the area, it is no small bit to celebrate. It’s more volleyball. Phenomenal volleyball.

A different Sunday than most.