MotherLode Volleyball Classic returns
September 3, 2009
ASPEN – Brace yourselves. Aspen has hit the MotherLode.
The 37th annual MotherLode Volleyball Classic, the country’s largest pro-am beach volleyball tournament, returns to Aspen this weekend. The Labor Day tradition kicks off Thursday on courts around town and wraps up Monday afternoon with the men’s and women’s open finals on Koch Lumber Park’s sand courts.
The largest doubles event in the country, this year’s tournament is expected to draw nearly 550 teams, event organizer Leon Fell said Tuesday.
Action begins Thursday in the seniors divisions, with finals slated to take play at 6 p.m. at Koch. The men’s masters and co-ed division take to the courts on Friday, and finals will take place at 6 p.m. on the grass at Wagner Park.
The action heats up Saturday with preliminary rounds in the men’s and women’s open, A , BB and B divisions, which begin at 8 a.m. and continue through Sunday. The men’s masters final will take place Saturday at noon at Koch.
On Monday, the amateur finals begin at 9 a.m. and wrap up at 2 p.m. on Koch’s grass courts. The open sand finals get underway at 3 p.m. The men’s final will follow the women’s in a field Fell said is as competitive as ever.
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Both of last year’s open-division winners are slated to return to try and defend their crowns, Fell said. In 2008, Adam Roberts and Vince Robbins outdueled two-time defending champion Ivan Mercer, a former tight end for the University of Miami, and new partner Bill Chenowith in three tight games.
On the women’s side, Janelle Koester and Paige Davis of California used their victory in Aspen as a stepping stone to the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tour. The MotherLode has spotlighted scores of top volleyball talent in years past, including recent Olympians Mike Whitmarsh, Dax Holdren and Dain Blanton.
Fell expects the event to draw as many as 2,500 people. As always, all matches are free for spectators. For more information, visit http://www.motherlodevolleyball.com.