This week in beach volleyball

This Week in Beach Volleyball: Final AVP Next Gold Series Heads to Atlantic City


What happens in Atlantic City — eh, it just doesn’t have the same ring as Vegas, does it?

Atlantic City is the East Coast’s best, but not great, equivalent to Las Vegas, in that there’s gambling, debauchery is encouraged, and sleep is for the weak.

And, like Vegas, it’s also home to the occasional beach volleyball tournament. While the AVP or FIVB or any other bigger domestic tour hasn’t made a stop in AC in quite a while, it is home to the final AVP Next Gold Series of the season: the Big Shot Championships.

It’s an annual event, so the fact that this tournament is happening is nothing new, but what is on the line is: A berth into main draw at Huntington Beach next season. It’s why, besides the $20,000 in prize money being doled out, you’ll find the field to be so stacked.

Making the trip to the East Coast, directly before those playing in Hawai’i will have to fly 13 hours to the Island for the final event of the AVP season, are Ed Ratledge-Skylar del Sol, Logan Webber-Ben Vaught, Mark Burik-Shane Donohue, Kris Johnson-Chris Austin, Jake Urrutia-Earl Schultz, JM Plummer-Dave Palm, Max Martin-Chris Luers, Mike DiPierro-Steve Grotowski.

Forty-six total teams are signed up for Big Shots on the men’s side while 23 are registered for the women. Though there are less teams on the women’s end, it doesn’t make it much easier. Notables competing are Katie Spieler-Katie Hogan, Marija Milosevic-Aurora Davis, Cecilia Agraz-Janelle Allen, Bree and Carly Scarbrough and Jessalyn Kinlaw-Carolyn Meister.

In terms of beach volleyball, though, that’s it. No FIVBs. No AVPs. Nada.

So what happens in Atlantic City is, this week, the only thing happening anywhere in beach volleyball.