Friday, 22 September 2023

International Volleyball

Championship canceled as AVP’s 40th anniversary season ends abruptly

Championship canceled as AVP's 40th anniversary season ends abruptly

Last weekend’s Chicago Gold Series marked the final major event of the AVP’s 2023 season.

There will be no AVP Gold Series Championship this year.

“Despite our best efforts, we regret that we have been unable to secure a suitable location and time to hold the 2023 AVP Championship,” the AVP wrote in a statement. “The 2023 season will conclude with the AVP Tour Series Laguna Beach Open from October 13-15.

We look forward to sharing exciting news about the 2024 season in the weeks to come.”

Last year’s Championship, which featured six teams per gender, was held at the Footprint Center, home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Throughout the year, the location of the Championship, which was slated for September 22-23, was listed as TBD, as were the remaining details, such as how many teams would qualify, what the prize money would be, and if the format would remain the same.

Given the lack of clarity to those aforementioned details, the cancellation isn’t altogether surprising, especially when considering that the AVP took down the Championship from its schedule on Friday afternoon.

It leaves, as the statement mentioned, the Laguna Tour Series, held on the same dates as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Eight USA teams are scheduled to be in Mexico — Miles Partain and Andy Benesh, Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner, Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk, Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth, Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes, Terese Cannon and Sarah Sponcil, Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles, and Alix Klineman and Hailey Harward — with a ninth, Chase Budinger and Miles Evans, still No. 1 on the reserve list and somewhat likely to slip into the field. Most, if not all, of those players wouldn’t compete in a Tour Series, the lowest of the AVP’s current three-tiered system.

Without a championship, the AVP season, hyped and touted as the 40th anniversary, ends abruptly. Nuss and Kloth, winners in 2022, will go out with back-to-back wins in Atlanta and Chicago. Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander will not get the opportunity to defend their 2022 win in Phoenix, their first as a team, and will instead bow out of the 2023 season with a fifth in Chicago. Trevor Crabb and Brunner, like Nuss and Kloth, will close the year on their win in Chicago.

What comes next domestically remains a mystery.

Internationally, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Paris Elite16 will be played on the last weekend of September, kicking off a full…

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