Doubles volleyball tournament returns to Snowmass for fifth year
It’s just a bunch of friends playing volleyball.
At least, that’s how Volleyball of the Rockies’ Tom Davenport likes to portray his events, including this week’s Snowmass Doubles tournament.
“I just like to have more of a local feel, and that’s kind of been my niche in the market for quite a while,” Davenport said. “What we got is just a bunch of solid Colorado players.”
The tournament is returning for the fifth time to Snowmass, beginning Thursday with the “Dinosaur” players, where teams must have a combined age of 80. Friday will be the co-ed tournaments, while the main men’s and women’s draws will be held over two days, Saturday and Sunday.
The open divisions are played on the four sand volleyball courts in Snowmass Village, while most of the other divisions will be played on the grass courts located on either the softball or soccer fields in Snowmass.
Davenport’s intent is to make the tournaments friendly for good, regional players. Even though he has helped train dozens of professional athletes, many of whom he calls close friends, tournaments like the ones he runs in Snowmass, Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge aren’t catered toward that clientele.
Still, this doesn’t mean the quality of play will suffer in the slightest.
“It’s mostly amateurs, but we have a really, really deep amateur scene in Colorado,” Davenport said. “Even though we are a landlocked state, there is plenty of high-level volleyball going on in Colorado.”
Davenport calls Snowmass a “boutique” tournament, as it is limited to around 200 teams. His tournaments in Steamboat and Breckenridge host closer to 600 teams across numerous divisions. Of the 200 teams in Snowmass this weekend, he said roughly 150 come from the Front Range, with a handful coming from out of state and the rest coming from the Western Slope.
“We’ve slowly built a fun, small tournament for the weekend,” Davenport said. “My goal is to run really good Colorado tournaments.”
All teams competing Saturday are guaranteed to advance to Sunday, although Davenport could change the divisions around to level the playing field, if there is a need. The championship matches likely will be played early in the afternoon Sunday.
Last year’s men’s open division winner was the team of Sean Bartosewcz and Bryce Walsh, while the women’s open division winner was the team of Mallory Deneen and Pam Sorensen.
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Spend enough time on the trails and slopes of Snowmass Village and you’ll probably see Brandon Hawksley at some point — or his handiwork, anyway.