Monday, 26 February 2024

International Volleyball

Our top beach volleyball stories from this year

Our top beach volleyball stories from this year

Zana Muno dials in at the AVP Heromosa Beach Open/Mark Rigney photo

HERMOSA BEACH, California — It’s time again to take an inventory of some of our best, most in-depth and intriguing work from the 2023 beach volleyball season. From mostly unknowns who overcame cancer and became an AVP champion to veterans and World Champions who are after something no medal can satiate — peace — our stories ranged far and wide.

Chicken farmers?

We had that.

Long-awaited Manhattan Beach Open winners?

Those, too.

The exceptionally rare husband-wife-coach-player dynamic? Done, with Kelly and Jordan Cheng. Thrilling, late-night game-stories from a little-known town in Mexico? Check, kudos of a heavy dose of p.m. heroics from Chase Budinger and Miles Evans.

It has been, as every year on the beach is, a blast bringing coverage from tournaments all around the world, from Asia to Mexico to our backyard in Hermosa Beach, California.

Enjoy our favorite volleyball stories of 2023. editor Lee Feinswog will have a list of our favorite and most well-read indoor stories on Thursday.

And, while this one wasn’t one of our favorites, it had the most page views of any story we posted in 2023, when the AVP announced it was done for the season and would not have a championship.

Jen Keddy
Jen Keddy, the Water Wizard

From near death to AVP champion, the incredible story of “Water Wizard” Jen Keddy

Jen Keddy overcame cancer and became an AVP champion. And she did it with…water? Wild story that borderlines on miracle.

Zana Muno: Beach Volleyball’s “Hooptidoodah Girl”

One of the most popular players in the beach volleyball world, Zana Muno raises chickens, plays — and succeeds — with a wide variety of partners, and channels an energy she calls “Hooptidoodah.” A fun look at one of the most talented defenders on the AVP Tour.

Beach volleyball Olympian Sarah Pavan not retired but chasing peace

Sarah Pavan has accomplished nearly everything there is to accomplish on a beach volleyball court. World Championship? Commonwealth Games gold? No. 1 world ranking? Most decorated Canadian blocker of all-time? She holds all of those titles, yet she’s seeking something else, something more: Peace.

Miles Partain-Dubai Challenger-Itapema Challenge
Miles Partain celebrates a win at the Dubai Challenger/Volleyball World photo

Miles Partain fanning his “spark from God” into flame

One of the most intriguing players in the world is 22-year-old Miles Partain. His rise through the world ranks, from…

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