Last weekend, Xochitl Glaser (SMBA ’15) made the trek up I-5 from San Diego to Los Angeles County to volunteer at the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour event held in Manhattan Beach.
This past weekend, the Wimbledon of the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour was held in Manhattan Beach, California. Coordinated and executed by IMG, the 55th annual tournament had SMBA alumna Erika Lamiell Singal (SMBA ’10) and Mallory Geis (SMBA ’13) on the front lines to ensure a flawless event.
As a volunteer for the weekend, I had the opportunity to be a part of the IMG team and experience first hand the preparation, effort and enthusiasm it takes to put on a world-class competition.
With call-times well before any player takes to the court, I shadowed Mallory and Erika as they and their team ensured proper set-ups for vendors, staffed the information booth to welcome fans and coordinated the dozens of volunteers. As the day progressed and tournament games got under way, the IMG team also extensively catered to sponsor, athlete and VIP guest needs – ranging from last minute signage, to between match sponsorship activations for Equinox and Paul Mitchell, there was always something Erika and Mallory’s team was attending to.
With tens of thousands of fans in attendance, highlights on the court included an outstanding first place performance by Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross, as well as some old-school beach volleyball by Adrian Carambula, who would serve the hard to return skyball. CBS Sports captured all of the final volleyball action on Sunday and play came to an end when Erika and Mallory presented the winning duos with their plaques, which will eventually be added to the famed Manhattan Beach Pier. Now with the 2014 Manhattan Beach Open in the books, the IMG team moves on to Cincinnati, Ohio for the next stop on the tour and I hope to join again when they return to southern California in September at Huntington Beach.