COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (August 4, 2022) – This weekend, Beach ParaVolley athletes are taking over Tavares, Florida.
USA Volleyball is hosting a Beach ParaVolley (BPV) training camp at Tavares’ Hickory Point Beach August 6-7. Beach ParaVolley is a three-person variant of beach volleyball for disabled athletes. This is the third BPV event of the year; clinics were also held at Hickory Point Beach in April and at Gulf Shores, Alabama, in May.
This and another training camp in September are being held in preparation for an international competition December 1-4. More information on that event is coming, but it will be held at Hickory Point Beach as well.
On Tuesday, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that BPV has applied to participate in the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. If accepted, it would be the second active volleyball discipline in the Paralympics, joining sitting volleyball.
The IPC will decide on Beach ParaVolley’s Paralympic fate by the end of January 2023.
Two-time Olympian and 2015 USA Volleyball Men’s Beach Player of the Year Nick Lucena has another title: coach. In late June, he was hired as Florida State beach volleyball’s assistant coach after volunteering with the program during the spring 2022 season. He helped lead the team to a 33-11 record, spot in the national championship match and No. 2 postseason ranking.
Lucena graduated from Florida State in 2003. He is married to Florida State beach head coach Brooke Niles, and the pair have three children.
Iya Lindal/Lydia Smith finished fifth at the Ljubljana (Slovenia) Futures last weekend. They earned a main draw berth – both athlete’s first main draw on the international tour – with two qualification victories, including a three-set win in round two. In the main draw, they won two more tight three-setters to win Pool C and advance to the quarterfinals. There, their luck ran out as they fell to hometown team and eventual silver medalists, Tjasa Kotnik/Maja Marolt of Slovenia.
Domestically, much of the Beach National Team (BNT) was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the AVP’s Fort Lauderdale Open. Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb won the men’s tournament, downing Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner. The Fort Lauderdale Open women’s final doubled as a U.S. Beach Collegiate National Team showdown as Hailey Harward and partner Tina Graudina downed teammate Julia Scoles and her partner, Geena Urango. All four women’s finalists play or played volleyball or beach volleyball at USC, as did Bourne.
Fort Lauderdale also played host to two junior tournaments last week: the USA Volleyball Beach National Championship and the U.S. Beach Club Championship. Eight teams won open division titles in the USAV Beach National Championship, while Jacksonville’s (Florida) High Performance Athletes won the Club Cup at the inaugural Club Championship.
The Beach Pro Tour may be idle this weekend, but most of the BNT will not be. The following BNT athletes will be competing in the Atlanta Open, AVP’s first Gold Series tournament of the season. Every match will be streamed live on the AVP’s YouTube channel.
Ahead of the tournament, 2020 Olympian Sarah Sponcil threw out the first pitch of Wednesday’s Atlanta Braves game.