A hot time on the beach | VailDaily.com

A hot time on the beach

Daily Staff Report

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – Six of the valley’s top club volleyball players are headed to sunny Hermosa Beach, Calif., to participate in the 2005 National High Performance Volleyball Camp and Junior Olympic Championships, July 21 27.Eleven club players from two local club teams were selected, but only Devon Abbott, Katherine Fontanese, Kelsey Plath, Elaine Prewitt, Kelsey Foster and Whitney VanVoorstn are able to attend.Abbott, Fontanese, Plath and Prewitt play for the Vail Avalanche; Foster and VanVoorstn play for the Eagle Valley Lightning.Only 100 volleyball players under the age of 18 were chosen to participate in the camp. High Performance is USA Volleyball’s feeder program for training junior volleyball players who have aspirations to some day play on the U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team.

The local athletes were invited to the camp after participating in the King of the Mountain volleyball tournament, which took place in Vail in June. The King of the Mountain’s Juniors’ competition was a qualifier for the U.S. Junior Olympic Beach National Championships. Top finishers for each age group earned automatic entry into the championships. “This is a great accomplishment by each one of these kids and we are so proud of them, especially when you consider that (the King of the Mountain) was the first two-man tournament that most of these kids had ever played in,” said Margie Plath, Co-Director of the Avalanche Volleyball Club in Vail. “Not only is this a great honor for the kids but a rare opportunity to work with the world’s greatest in the sport of beach volleyball.” The athletes will be coached by some of the most renowned volleyball coaches and players in the world. Beach legend Sinjin Smith will be one of two head coaches. Jeff Alzina, who coached the beach duo of Stein Metzgar and Dax Holdren to a fifth-place finish for the United States at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, will also be working with junior athletes. Chrissie Zartman and Tracy Lindquist, the 2002 World University Beach Volleyball gold medallists, will also be assisting campers.

A record number of teams are expected to compete in the 2005 Junior Olympic Beach Volleyball Championships beginning Friday, July 22. The championships will be held in conjunction with the AVP Hermosa Beach Open.Boys and girls competition will be available in nine different age group divisions. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age division. The champions of the U-18 category (male and female) will represent the United States at the 2004 U-18 Beach Volleyball World Championships in September. Both the U-18 and U-21 tournaments are open only to U.S. citizens.For more information about local volleyball club programs, contact Linda Gilbert of the Avalanche Volleyball Club in Vail at 926-3291 or Rob Crawford of the Lightning Volleyball Club in Eagle at 328-2899.

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