Allan, Bossow fifth at California Cup
After all, in the heartland of beach volleyball otherwise known as Southern California, the concept of beach volleyball players coming from the Rockies is something akin to a bobsled team from Texas.
“They all thought it was very amusing we were from Colorado,” Allan laughed. “They thought we played in the snow. I assured them that we did have good courts and a lot of good players.”
Allan and Bossow, in fact, made themselves quite comfortable as honorary Californians last weekend on and off the beach. They took fifth place out of 15 teams in the 11th- and 12th-grade division and, during their off time, still managed to have a blast, going body surfing and logging time at Six Flags.
As was the case at June’s King of the Mountain in Vail, Allan and Bossow weren’t expected to do much. And, as was the case at June’s King of the Mountain in Vail, they surprised.
Playing for the first time on an actual beach in Manhattan Beach, Calif. – the sand is softer on the beach than in a pit, making the footing quite different – the duo won its first match of the tourney.
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Allan and Bossow next ran into Jenna Dykstra and Steshia Selsky, and lost the the eventual Cup champions. The team’s only other loss was to the division’s runner-up, Rene Siecek and Lindsay St. John.
“It was pretty exciting,” Bossow said. “We were a bit disappointed when we lost the match, I guess it was the quarterfinals (to Siecek and St. John). We were so disappointed when we lost it because we were on a comeback. But it definitely felt good because we expected to go in there and just lose miserably.”
In all, Allan and Bossow finished with a 4-2 mark.
“That’s an incredible finish for a non-California team,” local volleyball promoter and coach Leon Fell said. “The tournament director called me and said, “Hey, your kids are pretty good.'”
Performance aside, just playing volleyball on the beaches of Southern California was an experience for the two.
“Everybody plays. It’s not just like half the people are playing, some people are sitting. Everybody is playing,” Bossow said. “There were probably near 100 courts set up and most of the courts were actually guys’ courts. It was just a totally different place.”
In addition to playing with some of the best in California, Allan and Bossow got to meet with some of the best from the AVP Pro Beach Tour, including Katie Bagneur-Fleischer, a two-time All-American from Colorado State.
“We got to play with Katie Bagneur, who was extremely gracious,” Allan said. “She watched one of our practices, helped coach and then invited us to watch her and her teammates practice.”
Of course, this trip was not all work and no play. Allan and Bossow hit Six Flags for some roller-coaster fun. The consensus between the two was that a ride called Deja Vu was the the best.
“Your feet dangle. It takes you up a vertical track and then it drops you and you go back through where you started,” Bossow said. “Then you go up and around and you’re spinning and twisting. Then it throws you up into another vertical loop and stops you and then you do the same things backwards.”
Wisely, the two did that ride before lunch.
They also got into body surfing big time. If this volleyball thing doesn’t work out, maybe Allan and Bossow could take up surfing as their No. 1 sport.
Hmmm. Body surfers from Colorado? Sounds just as strange as beach volleyball players.