Happy Thursday, beach volleyball fans!
Tri and I hope you enjoyed our last Beach Volleyball Digest, which also happened to be our first. Thank you to everyone who reached out and mentioned the various ways in which we could improve — we’re working on them, promise.
This week is a fun one. We enjoyed one of our most delightful and lighthearted interviews in quite some time with Angie Akers. The new coach of the A Team, Akers is only recently back in the United States after a six-year sojourn coaching for The Netherlands. She was able to realize her dream — isn’t it all of ours in this crazy sport we love so much? — of being a member of an Olympic team, but coaching for the Dutch orange wasn’t quite the same as the red, white, and blue. So now she’s back, coaching April Ross and Alix Klineman, the No. 1 team in the United States and, arguably, the world.
The Gypsy life of Casey Patterson
One of our all-time favorite guys — and likely one of your all-time favorite players, Casey Patterson, discussed his early days as a beach volleyball player, and the unbelievable grind it takes to reach the point that he made: Olympian, Manhattan Beach Open Champion, sponsor’s dream player.
Patterson regaled his hilarious early tales of living what he calls the “gypsy life,” popping around the U.S., Japan, sleeping on floors — doing whatever it took to keep living life on the beach.
What will the 2021 beach volleyball season look like?
You don’t need us to tell you that 2020 was a year marked by uncertainty, one devoid of all things normal. So: What is 2021 going to look like? Nobody can know for sure — although we do have some fun news coming up! — but we did our best to lay out what the beach volleyball world could look like a year after the most extraordinary season of our generation.
All hail Nuss and Kloth (Piotr and Rafu are ok, too)
As soon as they — along with the help of eight other teammates at LSU — led LSU to the first No. 1 NCAA ranking in school history, Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth had the 2020 college season robbed from them. That doesn’t mean they had the entire 2020 season stripped, however. No, the two have since won tournaments in New Orleans, Atlantic City, Tennessee, and, now, Florida.
Nuss and Kloth won the Tampa Bay Beach Bums Winter Wonderland tournament in Clearwater, Fla. this weekend, remaining undefeated on the weird season they’ve been able to cobble together. And, per usual, Rafu Rodriguez and Piotr Marciniak won as well, running their fast and creative offense that is the topic of much Bounce Beach fodder.
Have a great week! As always, let us know if there’s any type of content you’d like to see more (or less) of. This Wednesday, you can look forward to hearing from the GOAT: Karch Kiraly!