Well hello, Beach Volleyball Friends,
There is literally no better season on planet Earth than California Fall — the locals’ summer, as it’s known in the South Bay or, as Kent Steffes lovingly calls it, ‘The Goo.’ Typically, there isn’t much to chat about this time of year; everyone is usually beginning their winter hibernations, secretly texting and calling prospective partners for the upcoming season.
Well, secret’s out, guys. Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes, the most dominant duo in NCAA beach volleyball history, are back together. They’ll make their debut as a team at the Huntington Beach Tour Series in November before hitting an Elite 16 in Australia to end the year. Where the rest of the dominoes fall, we don’t yet know, but we do have a look at the many, many possibilities.
Meanwhile, in Dubai, where it feels like half the AVP players are, a few unexpected partner swaps have happened at the last minute. Julia Scoles, who made her international debut with Zana Muno in the Maldives, picked up Katie Horton after that partnership ended prematurely. And Paul Lotman will, alas, not lose any more jousts to Taylor Crabb, as Crabb swapped him into the Challenger to replace Taylor Sander, for reasons we don’t know.
Molly Turner, however, finally didn’t need to change partners, as she did all season. She’s competing with Maddie Anderson, beginning in Saturday’s qualifier. We sat down and chatted all about it on SANDCAST this week.
Molly Turner, taking the hard road in 2022: ‘Let’s see if you can do it.’
This week’s episode of SANDCAST brings on Molly Turner, one of the toughest, grittiest, go-get-after-it players on Tour. She had a choice this year: To play the points game and scramble around just to be directly into the main draw, or play the game to win, in which she’d begin in the qualifiers but give herself the highest ceiling possible. The result? A career-high in every single category in 2022. We chatted all about her gold medals, her wins in Seaside and Laguna, and a whole lot more.
- Listen to the episode on Spotify (and give us a follow if you haven’t!)
- Watch the episode on YouTube
- Read the feature write-up at VolleyballMag
Meanwhile, for the rest of us normal folks — normal meaning pretty much only Tri, actually — it’s off-season. We’ve had a number of fans and players alike asking how to capitalize on those precious off-season months.
How to make the most during the beach volleyball off-season
This week’s Quick Set episode of SANDCAST features a snippet from our always-popular fan question segment, when Tri Bourne, Travis Mewhirter, and Savvy Simo were asked how to make the most out of the beach volleyball off-season. Are we at the off-season yet? Kinda, sorta, not really, but still, sorta. Simo is in Dubai, Mewhirter is about to hit the Dominican, Huntington Beach, Cairo, and Central Florida, while Tri is actually in his off-season. But still, by December, we’ll all be there, shooting for the same goal:
The Volleyball World Report, and other beach news
- Qatar’s Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan won gold in the Maldives, knocking off every American team on their way there, and now they’re not invited back to Hermosa Beach.
- Never heard of the Finnish concept of Sisu? No problem, it was on full display in the Maldives, where TWO Finnish teams finished on the podium.
- If you haven’t yet watched the new French pairing of Remi Bassereau and Julien Lyneel, you should. They handed Cherif and Ahmed their only loss of the Maldives in just their second beach event.
- Austria’s Klinger sisters, Dorina and Ronja, made the stunning backdrop of the Maldives a lovely place for a business trip.
- The Maldives featured dozens of new faces to watch on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour in the coming months and years
- Follow all the Dubai action here (I won’t be writing, but I’ll be commentating eight of the next nine days. The coffee maker will be put to the test)
Much Love to the sponsors
Hydration is absolutely everything to a beach volleyball player, especially staying hydrated in a manner that helps our beautiful environment. Which is why we are STOKED to partner with Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water for THREE YEARS! They offer all kinds of fantastic deals online, and good news for you (and us), you can get 20 PERCENT OFF using our discount code, Sandcast, at checkout. Aloha, y’all.
Want to know the BEST way to get some sleep? WEAR BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES! Seriously. When Travis wore them, his WHOOP recovery score shot up, on average, by 20 percent. Twenty percent! No company makes better blockers than BlueFree Optical. And you can get their glasses — seriously, they’re amazing — for 15 PERCENT OFF when you use the code SUMMER2022. Take a look at BLUE FREE OPTICAL TODAY and get the BEST night’s sleep, we guarantee it!
SANDCAST is fueled by a lovely mix of three main ingredients: We LOVE to do it, people enjoy listening to it, and sponsors fund our ability to do so. We only partner with sponsors we love, and we are so fired up to have Athletic Greens join the show! And they’re hooking up our listeners with a full year of Vitamin D for FREE, as well as five totally FREE travel packs!
We’ve been with Wilson Volleyball since day one, and we love the products they make — the best ball on the market, hands down, no questions asked. With season coming up, if you’re looking to get some new equipment, use our discount code: sandcast-20 for 20 PERCENT OFF.
Appreciate y’all for listening, reading, and loving the beach like we do.
Have a great weekend, all.
Tri and Travis (and Savvy)