Road to Rio Olympics for beach volleyball players runs through Cincinnati

The road to Rio travels through Cincinnati, Ohio this summer as the top ranked beach volleyball teams in the world attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.  The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) and the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) Tours come together to bring the only 2016 Olympic Qualifier in the United States to Cincinnati, May 17th – 21st for the AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open.

The AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open will be the third stop on the AVP’s 2016 schedule and the only stop hosted and operated by the AVP as part of the FIVB World Tour. In order to qualify for an Olympic berth, internationally ranked teams must compete in and earn points at 12 FIVB tournaments.  Thus, the Cincinnati Open comes at a critical time for Olympic contenders earning their spot in Rio and building momentum towards the Games.

Among the teams already committed to play at the event are three time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross (an Olympic silver medalist in 2012).  Walsh Jennings could be competing for her record 4thOlympic Gold Medal for the USA, should she and Ross qualify for the 2016 Games.  2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Phil Dalhausser and reunited partner and best friend Nick Lucena will also compete.  Dalhausser has won at least one AVP title annually since 2005. Powerhouse teams from countries as varied as the Netherlands, Mexico and Vanuatu are already signed up to compete, bringing an international, Olympic flare to Cincinnati.

Donald Sun, Managing Partner for the AVP, recently said, “Cincinnati has been a mainstay of the AVP domestic tour every year since 2005.   I am truly excited that this great city has earned the added excitement of hosting an Olympic Qualifier through its continued loyalty and passion for beach volleyball. We are thrilled to bring so many world class athletes to the Queen City, giving our fans a sneak peak at the teams competing in Rio just a few months later.”

The AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open will feature the top 32 men’s teams and the top 32 women’s teams competing in four days of main draw play preceded by a one day qualification tourney.  The tournament will take place on four courts built at the world-class grounds of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH. In addition to the world’s best volleyball talent, the event doubles as the ultimate beach festival with interactive activations, music, food and more.

The AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open is one of eight tournaments on the AVP’s 2016 schedule, which also includes stops in New Orleans, Huntington Beach, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, Manhattan Beach, and Chicago.

The women’s and men’s finals will be broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network.

VIP premium seating for the event is now on sale through the AVP.  General admission is free at the gate.

For more information on ticket availability and competition schedule, please visit www.

2016 AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Schedule

April 15-17 – New Orleans Open, Laketown, Kenner, La.

May 6-8 – Huntington Beach Open, South Side of Pier, Huntington Beach, Calif.

May 16-21 – *FIVB Cincinnati Open, Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Ohio

June 3-5 – Seattle Open, Lake Sammamish State Park, Issaquah, Wash.

June 17-19 – New York City Open, Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 and 26, Manhattan

June 24-26 – San Francisco Open, location TBD

July 15-17 – Manhattan Beach Open,  South Side of Pier, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

September 2-4 – AVP Championships at Chicago, Oak Street Beach, Chicago

*ONLY FIVB Olympic qualifier in the U.S.  in 2016