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p1440 Intrasquad Tournament

p1440 Intrasquad Tournaments Providing Single-Elimination Pressure Without Stress of Travel

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Rare is the beach volleyball tournament that follows a single elimination format. There are AVP qualifiers. There are FIVB qualifiers. There are country quotas.

And hardly any way to prepare for such a format.

It can be jarring, after playing tournaments of pool play and double-elimination, to travel across the country or, oftentimes, across the world, to play potentially one match. One loss and you’re done.

Which is exactly why the p1440 Developmental Program formatted its intrasquad tournaments to be exclusively single-elimination. It brings with it the pressure of single elimination, without the plane ticket to China or Brazil or Poland or New York or wherever in the world one might play a qualifier, to receive that experience.

“I would have loved to have this,” Casey Jennings said at a developmental practice earlier in the year. “You’re getting great competition, for free.”

He, like anybody else, had to travel to experience that pressure, the first of which came in Stavanger, Norway, in 2002 with Brad Torsone.

They flew across the world to play one match, a country quota against John Hyden and Chip McGraw. They lost, hopped on a flight to Montreal – and lost again, to Hyden and McGraw, again, 13-15 in the third set.

On Thursday for another Intrasquad Tournament, nobody had to fly to Stavanger or Montreal. They simply had to drive or, in some cases, walk or skateboard or bike, down to the Huntington Beach Pier. No international flights. No financial stress.

Just single-elimination volleyball against the type of competition they’ll soon see at the AVP Chicago qualifier and main draw next week.

“To win this tournament, you have to win four matches in a row,” Delaney Knudsen, the tournament director who also played alongside Chloe Crappell, said. “So that simulates a reasonably-sized qualifier. The single-elimination format is super solid for the mental and physical experience of a qualifier. It’s like having four extra qualifiers under your belt if you play these. You’ll be more uncomfortable in that environment than other teams who don’t play intrasquads.”  

Winning on Thursday was Adam Roberts and Andy Benesh, who made main draw via qualifier in AVP Hermosa Beach and again in Manhattan Beach via points – no qualifier needed. On the women’s end, Crissy Jones picked up Tory Paranagua and won four straight en route to an intrasquad title.

“I ironically mentioned to Crissy today how cool I thought the single-elim was before an AVP event,” said Paranagua, who has made main draws in New York, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. “And also how windy and competitive it was before an event like Chicago — both windy and per usual competitive. It felt like really good preparation even though it was just one event for Crissy and I.”

Jones is typically paired with Zana Muno, and together they are one of the most popular teams on tour at the moment. After a semifinal run in Hermosa Beach, and another deep run in Manhattan, finishing ninth. Unless something changes, they will be directly into the main draw at AVP Chicago in a week.

The final intrasquad tournament of the season will be September 12, in Huntington Beach. As always, the event will be livestreamed.

As always, it will be single-elim.  

Re-watch Thursday’s tournament

Court One:

Court Two:

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