Beach HP Athletes Competing at Championships

May 03, 2013, 7:37 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail:
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 3, 2013) – Sand volleyball teams from colleges around the country have converged on Gulf Shores, Ala., for the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships, which run May 3-5.

Kirby Burnham receives the ball as partner Jace Pardon watches
  Kirby Burnham receives the ball as partner Jace Pardon watches
  at the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships.

The Gulf Coast Region of USA Volleyball is one of the hosts of the event. USA Volleyball is also sending staff members to help at the event and providing top beach volleyball event director Matt Gage to help keep the competition running smoothly.

Pepperdine University, Long Beach State University, University of Southern California, University of North Florida, Florida State University and the University of Louisiana-Monroe are the schools that have been selected to compete in the team championship.

The 16-team pairs field includes the top duos from the schools in the team competition as well as 10 doubles teams from schools not in the team competition. Pairs were selected from Georgia State University, University of California/Los Angeles, Florida International University, the University of Alabama/Birmingham, the University of the Pacific, Jacksonville University, Loyola Marymount University and Saint Mary's College of California.  All participants in the championships were selected based on results from the collegiate sand volleyball season that began in March.

Many of the athletes competing in Gulf Shores have USA Volleyball connections as well.

From top-seeded Pepperdine: Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif.) competed at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in 2008 and 2010 with UCLA’s Rebecca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif.), who is also competing in Gulf Shores. In 2010 the pair became the first U.S. girls’ team to make it to the U19 World Championships main draw. They also won the U19 division of the 2010 USAV Beach High Performance Championships. Both are current members of the U.S. U23 Beach National Team, as is Caitlin Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who competed at the 2011 FIVB U21 World Championships. Other Pepperdine athletes currently training with the U.S. Beach National Teams are Taylor Racich (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) and Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif.).

From No. 2 seeded Long Beach State University: Tara Roenicke (Alta Loma, Calif.) won the 2010 FIVB U21 World Championship with Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.), with whom Roenicke also won the 2008 Australian Youth Olympics Games. Roenicke has competed in a total of four U19 and U21 FIVB World Championships and finished fourth at an FIVB exhibition tournament in Pusan, Korea. Caitlin Ledoux (Phelan, Calif.) finished fifth at the 2008 FIVB U19 World Championships with Roenicke and finished fourth with her in Pusan, Korea. She also competed at the 2010 and 2012 World University Championships, finishing fifth in 2012 with graduated University of Southern California sand player Geena Urango. Ledoux and Urango won the gold medal at the 2012 USAV Beach HP Championships. Long Beach State’s Jocelyn Neely (La Habra, Calif.) competed at the 2008 FIVB U19 World Championships with Dykstra and has trained with the U.S. Beach Volleyball Team along with Beach teammate Chelsea Carbajac (Downey, Calif.).

From No. 3 seeded Florida State: Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) played at the 2012 FIVB U21 World Championships with Kirby Burnham (Newport Beach, Calif.) of USC. Pardon won at the 2012 USAV Beach HP Championships with Litara Keil (Long Beach, Calif.) of Loyola Marymount.­­ Aurora Davis (Groveland, Fla.), Stephanie Pellitteri (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and Kristina Pellitteri (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) have all participated in USAV Beach High Performance Programs.

From No. 4 USC: Along with Burnham and Pardon, Alexa Stonish (Stony Brook, N.Y.), Eve Ettinger (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Cinnamon Sary (Newport Beach, Calif.), Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), Sydney Seau (Dal Mar, Calif.) and Kati Duddridge (Santa Ana, Calif.) have all participated in USAV Beach HP events and programs.

Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) of Georgia State and Dalas Dodd (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) of St. Mary’s have both competed at the FIVB U19 World Championships for the United States.