NEW ORLEANS (May 11, 2022) — The AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour is set to return to New Orleans after a six-year hiatus, bringing the world’s best beach volleyball players here for the first time since 2016. And when the action begins later this month, fans will not only enjoy watching numerous players with Olympic pedigrees, but will also have plenty of local rooting interest.
The AVP Pro Series New Orleans Open will be held at the Coconut Beach Volleyball Complex (100 Coconut Beach Court in Kenner) from May 27-29, as beach volleyball’s best compete for a $125,000 prize purse over three days of competition. Among the players set to compete are Metairie native Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth, who have carried their partnership at LSU over into the professional ranks with significant early success, and Evan Cory, an up-and-comer in the men’s bracket who also is from Metairie.
Tickets for the AVP Pro Series New Orleans Open are available now at www.avp.com. General admission tickets are $20 per day, and limited daily premium seating tickets for The Deck start at $125, giving fans access to some of the best seats in the house and two complementary drinks per ticket. All fans inside the venue will be required to have a ticket. The competition will run from approximately 2-11 p.m. CT on Friday and Saturday, and approximately 12-6 p.m. CT on Sunday.
“We’re thrilled to be returning to New Orleans for the first time in eight years,” said Al Lau, CEO of the AVP. “The level of talent in both the men’s and women’s brackets is some of the best we’ve ever seen. There is a terrific community of people in Louisiana who are passionate about beach volleyball, as evidence by the many clubs and the large number of colleges in the state offering beach volleyball programs. With the history and energy surrounding the city, it’s sure to be an amazing event.”
All matches on Stadium Court and Court 1 will be streamed live on the AVP’s YouTube channel (@avpbeach). The men’s and women’s finals of the AVP Pro Series New Orleans Open are scheduled to air on FS1 on Tuesday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET and on Bally Sports regional sports networks on Saturday, June 4 (times vary by region).
Nuss and Kloth will return to Louisiana to compete in front of a hometown crowd as pros for the first time. Native to New Orleans, Nuss was the 2015-16 Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year at Mount Carmel Academy, and in 2021 was selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Female Amateur Athlete of the Year. She is college beach volleyball’s all-time winningest player with 139 career victories. Nuss and Kloth – a two-year starter at LSU after transferring from Creighton – went 36-0 for the Tigers during the 2021 season, and the pair was selected as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Beach Pair of the Year.
The duo earned their first AVP victory to open the 2021 season in Atlanta, and won the AVP’s first event of the 2022 season as well, entering the Austin Open as the sixth seeds and upsetting top-seeded Canadian Olympians Melissa Humana-Pardes and Sarah Pavan in straight sets in the women’s final on May 8.
“I could not be more excited to compete in my hometown,” Nuss said. “I know for this higher caliber of play, more people are going to come out, and that excites me. Our goal is to keep growing this great sport, especially in Louisiana, and this tournament will definitely help open some eyes.”
Added Kloth: “It’s crazy to think that we began our professional careers nearly one year ago right here in New Orleans. To be here one year later with the same LSU teammate, in the great state of Louisiana as an adopted Louisianan, is so special.”
Cory was valedictorian of his class at Holy Cross School and played indoor volleyball at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee before embarking on a pro beach volleyball career full time last year. At the AVP’s Austin Open in early May, he teamed with veteran Billy Kolinske for a seventh-place finish.
In the AVP Tour’s last visit to New Orleans in 2016, Olympian and 17-time AVP winner Casey Patterson teamed with former partner Jake Gibb for a second-place finish, and Taylor and Trevor Crabb took third. The 2022 New Orleans Open will mark the eighth men’s pro tournament in the Big Easy and the seventh time an AVP women’s event has been held here. Past winners include some of beach volleyball’s biggest names, such as Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross, Sinjin Smith, Karch Kiraly, Gibb and Patterson.
The AVP Pro Series New Orleans Open will feature 16-team men’s and women’s fields competing in a double-elimination bracket across three courts from Friday through Sunday. Each gender’s bracket consists of 10 teams automatically entered based on their AVP ranking points, two wild cards and four teams who will earn entry through an open qualifier May 21-22 in San Antonio, Texas on the grassroots AVPNext tour.
Player commitments can change until the tournament’s first serve, and the most up-to-date entry list can be found here. Some of the notable teams currently entered to compete in the New Orleans Open include:
· Casey Patterson/Phil Dalhausser – Patterson is a 2016 Olympian and a 17-time winner on the AVP Tour, including two wins in three events last season. Dalhausser is a four-time Olympian and won the opening event of the 2022 AVP season with partner Andy Benesh.
· Andy Benesh/Nick Lucena – Lucena is a two-time Olympian, and has 16 career AVP tournament wins. Benesh was this year’s Austin Open champion with partner Phil Dalhausser.
· Troy Field/Chase Budinger – The pair advanced to the men’s final of the season-opening Austin Open. Budinger won twice on the AVP Tour last season, teaming with Casey Patterson to secure tournament titles in Atlanta and Chicago. He played 407 games in the NBA over seven seasons from 2009 to 2016 with the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, and Phoenix Suns before transitioning to beach volleyball in 2018.
· Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander – Crabb was a 2016 New Orleans Open semifinalist with former partner and brother Trevor Crabb.
· Logan Webber/John Hyden – Hyden, 49, played on the U.S. indoor volleyball teams in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics before making his pro beach debut in 2001. Webber was born one year before Hyden’s first Olympics.
· Evan Cory/Billy Kolinske – Cory is a native of Metairie and was valedictorian of his class at Holy Cross High School.
· Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss – Kloth and Nuss won the AVP’s Atlanta event last season, the first professional victory for both players, and followed that up by winning the 2022 Austin Open on May 8. They are former LSU beach volleyball teammates, and Nuss is a Metairie native.
· April Ross/Emily Day – Ross is a three-time Olympic medalist, having won gold in 2020, silver in 2012 and bronze in 2016. She won the New Orleans Open in 2015 with former partner Kerri Walsh Jennings. Day is a nine-time AVP winner.
· Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes – Pavan represented Canada in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, while Humana-Paredes played in the 2020 Games alongside Pavan. The two placed second in this year’s Austin Open.
· Betsi Flint/Kelly Cheng – Flint is a five-time winner on the AVP Tour. Cheng, a 2020 Olympian, owns one AVP victory and won twice internationally last season.
· Liliane Maestrini/Larissa Maestrini – The Brazilian duo debuted on the AVP Tour last season after distinguished international careers. Larissa is a three-time Olympian (and a bronze medal winner in 2012) and holds the all-time record with 62 FIVB tournament titles.
The 2022 AVP Tour schedule includes 16 tournaments across the country offering $2 million in prize money. Seven Tour Series events feature 24-team brackets competing over two days for a $50,000 purse, while five Pro Series events offer a 16-team draw playing for $125,000 over three days of play. The three AVP Gold Series tournaments are three-day events with 16- or 32-team brackets and the highest purses of the season at $300,000, and there is also a new two-day, $100,000 Championship event that invites exclusively the top six teams per gender to compete at the end of the season. With more events and the biggest prize purse in recent history, the new tiered system improves the professional pipeline and increases money for athletes breaking into professional beach volleyball.
Media representing recognized editorial outlets who are interested in covering the AVP Pro Series New Orleans Open can apply here: https://avp.com/press-registration/. Please note that the deadline to apply is Friday, May 20.
Powered by the most dynamic and elite athletes in the world, the Association of Volleyball Professionals is the globally recognized premier professional beach volleyball organization and longest-running domestic beach volleyball tour in the United States. Founded in 1983, the AVP has produced some of the world’s most beloved athletes, providing fans with unparalleled access to nail-biting matches on the sand. In 1996, beach volleyball became an official sport at the Olympic Games and the AVP proudly serves as the home court for Team USA’s Olympians.
Headquartered in Southern California, the AVP operates a multi-tiered development system. The decorated AVP Pro Tour is the gold standard in beach volleyball, with over 100 professional athletes competing for top prize money in front of over 120 million fans worldwide.
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