St. Pete to host pro beach volleyball

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Sand, serves, and spikes all a part of the action in downtown St. Petersburg this week. The world's best beach volleyball players will descend on Spa Beach Park Friday as the Association of Volleyball Professionals comes to town for the AVP St. Petersburg Open.

From May 30 - June 1, stars like three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser will serve, set and spike on four courts built on sand trucked in to waterfront Spa Beach Park.

Sixteen men's teams and 16 women's teams will battle for $150,000 in prize money over the course of three days, culminating in Sunday's finals, televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network.

St. Pete resident Raquel Ferreira, a native of beach-volleyball crazy Brazil, will have her eyes on the top prize. She and new playing partner Kaitlin Nielsen are seeded eighth in the women's bracket. Walsh Jennings and Olympic silver medalist April Ross are seeded second in the women's field, with up-and-coming stars Summer Ross and Emily Day at the top of the bracket.

The men's field features Dalhausser and partner Sean Rosenthal seeded fifth, and the entire field will be gunning to knock off top-seeded Jake Gibb, a two-time Olympian, and partner Casey Patterson, the defending champions of the AVP St. Petersburg Open.

Tickets for the AVP St. Petersburg Open, which returns to St. Pete for the second straight summer, start at just $10, and kids 10 and under get in free. There are plenty of VIP options, and the beach party atmosphere includes great music, food and interactive activities.

10 News is the official weather station for the event, so be sure and check the forecast before you head out.

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