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Joe's visit to the 2014 AVP Manhattan Beach Open


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  • Trip Report Joe's visit to the 2014 AVP Manhattan Beach Open

    It's going to be a great weekend! The AVP is in town and it's the 55th anniversary of the Manhattan Beach Open!

    After Ian woke up, the three of us piled into the car and headed to the beach. Parking seems to be a bit nuts down here. Even though it's Friday there's tons of people here looking for spots. We found a few places but they were all 2 hour lots and we're planning on being here for a while. I found a lot with 10 hour parking and as luck would have it, someone was pulling out right as I pulled up. I put on my blinker all ready to park when a girl came driving around from the other aisle with a sad story about how she's been waiting for someone to pull out for 30 minutes. I let her have the spot. Am I too nice? Good karma points coming my way hopefully.

    Eventually we went to a 2 hour lot and I just had to come back and feed the meter later in the day. Time to walk to the beach! It's a little overcast right now, but shortly it's going to be blue skies.

    The view from the pier looking south. You can see the stage court really well.

    The Manhattan Beach Open, presented by Smart (the Smart car makers).

    Unlike the 2014 World Series of Volleyball we went to a few weeks ago in Long Beach, there's no bleachers here. Everyone can get as close as they want while sitting on the sand.

    Our first stop of the day was the merchandise tent. What kind of goodies can we find here?

    T was interested in some shirts.

    Eventually we ended up getting Ian a few onsies for $15 each.

    Walking through all the sponsors tents, we sampled a few treats. McDonalds was giving samples of their Horchata frappe. Another tent was giving out Greek yogurt ice cream bars which were great on a hot day, add in some granola bars, 5 hour energy, bottles of water, and you could eat down here all day for free.

    The Paul Mitchell tent was giving haircuts for $15 and donating the money to charity.

    And Oberto was giving away packs of beef jerky! Delicious!

    Let's check out the leader board and see what games we want to hit.

    Ready to have a fun day.

    We're going to start on the featured women's court. Ian was just a little too short to see over the barrier. He was trying hard though.

    Instead he sat and crawled all over the towels while we watched the game.

    It's amazing what these girls can dive and get to.

    Check out her form as Emily Day goes up for a spike. Arched back, arm bent so much it looks uncomfortable, and knees bent. She's ready to explode on the ball.

    Contrast that to her form when she's going up for a placement shot. If you can read the difference in the body language, you can get a jump on where the ball might be going.

    Summer Ross diving to get a ball.

    Ian was just hanging out beside the barrier in the shade. His new favorite food seems to be Cheerios. He's picking up as many as he can from Theresa's hand.

    Then shoving them in his mouth. Theresa had brought the Cheerios for her, but Ian ended up eating most of them.

    In the end, Summer Ross and Emily day won the match in two entertaining games.

    I've found sand!

    Next we went to the men's featured court.

    There we watched Stafford Slick and his partner Adrian Carambula.

    Adrian has an amazing sky ball serve that was definitely proving difficult to handle. He'd send this serve so high in the air and about 6 feet out of bounds, but because he got so much spin on it plus with a little help from the ocean breeze, it would come back into play. Impressive.

    He also had really good court vision and sent so many balls over on the second hit for points. I always appreciate a smart player.

    Oh boy... Stafford Slick getting a set right on the net with no blockers.

    That's going to be bad news. He put it down with authority.

    All to soon it was time to head back to the car. Luckily for us, the tournament continues tomorrow and Sunday! We'll be back tomorrow!
    Visit my blog at

    I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

  • #2
    Re: Joe's visit to the 2014 AVP Manhattan Beach Open

    Just read this and your other volleyball trip report! Awesome as usual! Sporting events are definitely super fun to go to. I, personally, love watching basketball, especially watching basketball at the arenas. Nothing beats watching your favorite sport live, amirite? Great photos as usual, and thanks for sharing, Joe!
    My Adventure Blog



    • #3
      Re: Joe's visit to the 2014 AVP Manhattan Beach Open

      It's Saturday and we're back for day 2 at the Manhattan Beach AVP. It was a great day on Friday and Ian was so well behaved we're back again!

      Today we got a much earlier start arriving at the parking garage at 8:45. This time it was a public lot with 10 hour parking and plenty of open spots. Ian hopped in the Ergo while I carried the rest of the gear to the beach.

      Looks like it's going to be another beautiful day in Manhattan Beach.

      Once again we made our way through the sponsor's tent, picking up a sample of McDonald's horchata frappe and Oberto beef jerky.

      Yesterday we moved around to different courts, but baked in the hot sun. Today we're staying on Court 1 watching the top women's teams. Because we're not moving around, we brought the beach umbrella and enjoyed sitting in the shade all day. Theresa enjoyed some jerky and Ian enjoyed the straw for the frappe.

      Another beautiful day in Southern California.

      The first match of the day was Emily Cook and Laryssa Mereszczak versus Briana Hinga and Tealle Hunkus, both in the contender's bracket and trying to win their way back into the finals. The losers here are going home.

      Briana and Tealle won in two quick games.

      The next match was Lara Dykstra and Jace Pardon versus Lynn Galli and Amanda Wiggins. We were sitting next to Jace Pardon's family, and it was interesting to hear them yelling at her and her partner the whole time.

      Lara and Jace had a really rough start, going down by 6 points but eventually came back to win in 2 games.

      Taking a peek at the featured men's court. I like this photo because it has lots of things in it; the giant AVP blowup volleyball, two guys battling at the net, and the Manhattan Beach pier in the background.

      The next match was a winner's bracket match between Lane Carico and Kim DiCello versus Heather Hughes and Whitney Pavlik.
      In the past, Theresa and I have actually worked AVP events, getting paid to keep statistics of each match (aces, attacks, digs, kills, errors, etc). If you didn't know the names of the players, you usually looked for a distinguishing feature and for the women, most of the time it would be their swimsuit top or bottom. As soon as these teams took the court we both mentioned how difficult that would have been for this match. Both players from both teams chose hot pinks bottoms with a teal blue top!

      Lane and Kim ended up winning the match in two games.

      The next match in the winner's bracket was between Emily Day and Summer Ross versus Jessica Gysin and Morgan Miller. Summer Ross has a huge cheering section out today. I believe her family was sitting to our right, a huge fan club was across the court holding signs and cheering, and lots of people coming out specifically to watch her.

      And she was great to watch. Most girls regularly bump-set the ball for their partner. Summer however could hand-set the ball with a great touch, putting up front sets and even back hand-sets.

      And she even blocks too.

      Emily Day picking up a short ball.

      And Summer Ross getting there just in time to keep it in play.

      During a long time-out the AVP fan crew came out to the court to give out mini-volleyballs. I held Ian up hoping they would throw us a ball, but we weren't lucky enough to get one.
      ...but one of Summer Ross' family was. They saw Ian didn't get one, but really felt he should have one. They handed it to Ian and he took it from their hand. He became enamored with it and wouldn't put it down.

      He kept trying to squeeze it, thinking it might squeak like some of his other toys. Even now that we're back home, it's still one of his favorites. Thank you to Summer's family for giving it to him!

      It took three games, but Emily and Summer won the match.

      Ian enjoying the view.

      I keep it trimmed short, but Ian still manages to find enough hair to grab onto.

      After the match I took another walk through the sponsor's tents. At this point I really should give a shout out to Luvo and their delicious Greek Frozen Yogurt bars. They've been passing out full size bars from the start of the day to the end of the day. Every time I see them, there's a line and they're giving them away by the handful. I'm sure they're giving out a ridiculous number of bars on these hot summer days and I'm certainly doing my part. Today I achieved the trifecta, tasting all three flavors, chocolate, strawberry and blueberry. Thank you Luvo!
      And Ian thanks you too! He's already on to solid foods and has tried greek yogurt and strawberries already, so T thought he was ready to try his first frozen treat.

      I think he was surprised by the coldness.

      But from the way he was smacking his lips, I think he liked it.

      We've only got time for one more game before we have to take off. Seven hours on the beach is more than enough for anyone. Once again we see Jessica Gysin and Morgan Miller, this time facing off against Sarah Day and Christal Engle in the contender's bracket.

      We didn't see it all, but Sarah and Christal ended up winning in 2 games.

      The finals are tomorrow, but we've got to relax at least one day this weekend.

      It's been a great couple days though. It's also fantastic to watch professionals play one of the sports I love. It always inspires me to continue to improve.

      The AVP has one more stop in Southern California this year at Huntington Beach on September 18 - 21. It's free to attend so if you're in the area, I highly suggest you go!
      Visit my blog at

      I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
      Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report


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