Adam Kiefaber reports:
For the first time since 2009, the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) will make a stop at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason over Labor Day weekend.
AVP’s new owner, Donald Sun, and Olympic gold medalist, Todd Rogers, were on hand at the Tennis Center Wednesday to make the announcement.
“Historically, this is where the AVP has always come and it has always been one of the more premier events on the tour,” said Sun, who purchased the league for roughly $2 million in the spring of 2012. “We want to carry on that legacy.”
Sun, who worked for the past 14 years at his father’s successful technology company, Kingston Technology in Fountain Valley, Calif., grew up watching the AVP tour and is attempting to revive the professional beach volleyball circuit after it went bankrupt and canceled five events of its 12-city tour, including Cincinnati, in 2010.
Last year, in its first tour since 2010, the AVP had only two stops – one at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine and the other in Rogers’ hometown of Santa Barbara, Calif. Historically, the first AVP event in Mason was held on July 4th weekend in 2005. It then moved to Labor Day weekend in 2006, where it stayed until 2009.
“We came last year to Cincinnati and it was a great event,” Sun said. “For the resources and the time that we had to put together, to see that many people still come led me believe that there is a definite enthusiasm for beach volleyball here in Greater Cincinnati.”
That enthusiasm was its highest in 2008 when Cincinnati was the first AVP tournament since Rodgers and teammate Phil Dalhausser and the duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings earned gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Beijing.