Volleyball no longer is just an indoor, hard-court game in the Triangle. The players have taken the game to the sand.
Beach volleyball has developed a strong following, and this past weekend nearly 200 players on 88 teams from across North Carolina and as far away as Georgia took to the sand courts at Raleigh's Jaycee Park and North Cary Park for the inaugural Carolina Open, a U.S. Beach Junior Tour tournament that was one of 25 scheduled nationwide this year by Colorado Springs, Colo.-based US Beach volleyball.
The Triangle event - with play for U12 to U18 girls and U14 and U18 boys on a day with occasional rain - was hosted by the Triangle organization vh1vball and the Carolina Region.
To learn more about the growth of beach volleyball - which received a boost from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a place among NCAA sports - be sure to read Teri Saylor's Who's Got Game column coming Wednesday in the North Raleigh News and the Midtown Raleigh News.
U.S. Beach Junior Tour Carolina Open
At Jaycees Park, Raleigh, and North Cary Park, Cary
Top finishers (provided by the U.S. Beach Junor Tour)
U12 girls: gold, Mia Frandenburg, Durham, and Moriah Tavana, Apex; silver, Sydney Yount, Raleigh, and Emily Durham, Fuquay-Varina; bronze (tie), Karsen Kee, Durham, and Hannah Mishler, Raleigh; bronze (tie), Lizzie Scheer and Lauren Walters (hometown not provided).
U14 girls: gold, Kylie Grandy, Rolesville, and Genna Simpkins, Cary, def. Hailey McFadden, Holly Springs, and Meghan Wilkinson, Raleigh, 25-18; bronze (tie), Katelyn McCullough, Raleigh, and Kaitlyn Smith, Raleigh; bronze (tie), Briley Brind’Amour, Raleigh, and Ellie Lupton, Raleigh.
U16 girls: gold, Michelle Hovey, Raleigh, and Cheyenne Tavana, Apex, def. Amy Robertson, Raleigh, and Casey Speer, Durham, 25-16; bronze (tie), Alicia Paeplow, Wake Forest, and Stephanie Stieber, Raleigh; bronze (tie), Kristen Clay, Durham, Britni Johnson, Durham.
U18 girls: gold, Megan Gravley, Cary, and Christina Vucich, Morrisville, def. Sasha Karelov, Durham, and Victoria Phillips, Raleigh, 21-19; bronze, Cheyenne Wood, Angier, and Missy Roberson, Cary.
U14 boys: gold, Eric Steiber, Raleigh, and Landon Choboy, Raleigh, def. Jake Smith, Chapel Hill, and James Hartley, Waxhaw, 21-17 ; bronze, Bradon Scopel, Chapel Hill, and Alexander Scopel, Chapel Hill.
U18 boys: gold, Brendan Smith, Fuquay-Varina, and Ethan Moore, Greensboro, def. Kyle Pineheiro, Durham, and Joseph Lucido, Raleigh; bronze, Chris Hawk, Cary, and Andrew McMurray, Cary.