Photo by Carl Wagenfohr
Rachel Wacholder blocks Barbra Fontana during the BVA tournament held on Clearwater Beach in 2001. Both players are entered in this weekend's AVP event in Tampa.
TAMPA - Beach volleyball is a sport more associated with Clearwater Beach than downtown Tampa, but truckloads of sand will change that as the AVP Tour makes a stop at the St Petersburg Times Forum in Tampa this weekend.
The AVP Esurance Tampa Bay Open is a professional beach volleyball tournament featuring: Olympic Gold Medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, Olympians like Holly McPeak and Mike Lambert, and beach volleyball legend Karch Kiraly! The AVP Esurance Tampa Bay Open will take place on the arena grounds at the St. Pete Times Forum beginning today, May 31, through Sunday, June 3.
Today's event is a qualifier for unseeded players. Matches will be played from 8am to 6pm. Two players from Tampa, Darryl Olenchalk and Steven Kamamainen have registered for the qualifier, and several more local players are expected to participate, including Joey Cash, Justin Phipps, Tara Kuk and Kim Whitney.
The main draw will run from Friday through Sunday, 9am to 6pm. The men's final will be played on Sunday at 2:30pm, and the women's at 4pm.
General admission seating is available for $24.75, with reserved courtside seats priced at $44.75 per day. The St Pete Times Forum is located at 401 Channelside Drive in Tampa.