MAY 18-21, 2023

MEDIA CONTACTS: Paige Arredondo (702-979-0014, paigea@bzapr.com); Greg Ball (760-271-9183, gregb@bzapr.com)

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  • The AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open is the AVP’s first 2023 event in California, as 16 women's teams and 16 men’s teams are set to compete for a $125,000 purse
  • General admission is FREE, and premium seating options are available now at www.AVP.com

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HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA (APRIL 27, 2023) -- The AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour is set to make its 2023 California debut, as the $125,000 AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open will bring the world’s top professional beach volleyball talent to the Huntington Beach Pier (1 Main Street Huntington Beach, CA 92648) from Thursday, May 18 through Sunday, May 21.

Among the stars expected to compete are Orange County natives Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes, who claimed a pair of national championships at USC and reunited as playing partners last fall – when they won their first tournament back together, fittingly in Huntington Beach.

General admission for the AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open is FREE every day, with the option to purchase premium seating tickets for Club AVP Deck and VIP boxes. Tickets are available at www.avp.com/event/pro-series-huntington-beach-open/, with access available now for AVP members and general public access beginning Friday, April 28.

Competition will run from approximately 9 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. All main draw matches on Stadium Court will stream live on ESPN+ and all matches played on Courts 1 and 2 will be available live on the Bally Live app. The women’s and men’s finals of the AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open are scheduled to replay Monday, May 22 from 8-10 p.m. ET on ESPNU.    

In the AVP Tour’s most recent visit to Huntington Beach last fall, Cheng and Hughes won the women’s tournament in their first outing as partners since 2018. Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander, the 2022 AVP men’s champions, took home the men’s title.

The 2023 AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open will mark the 18th time that a women’s AVP tournament has been held in the city and the 20th time for AVP men. It is the fourth most frequented stop in AVP history. Past winners in Huntington Beach include many of beach volleyball’s biggest names: Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross, Alix Klineman, Karch Kiraly, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers.

Cheng (formerly Kelly Claes) is a Placentia native who attended El Dorado High School in Fullerton. Hughes, from Costa Mesa, starred at Mater Dei in Santa Ana. The two paired up at USC to win two national championships, then continued their partnership in the pro ranks, winning once on the AVP and three times internationally between 2015 and 2017.

Cheng and Hughes went their separate ways starting with the 2018 season, and Cheng represented the U.S. team in the 2020 Olympics. They reunited as partners late last year, and have been nearly unstoppable since. They won their debut AVP tournament in Huntington Beach, then captured the women’s title in the first AVP event they entered this season - the AVP Pro Series New Orleans Open. Internationally, they have won four of the six events they have entered since reuniting five months ago.

“We are extremely excited to have the AVP returning to compete in Huntington Beach next to the pier and establishing this as a cornerstone event for our tour right here in our backyard of Orange County,” said Al Lau, CEO of the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. “The city and its residents have been passionate supporters of the AVP and the sport of beach volleyball for many, many years, and this is a terrific location to spotlight our amazing female and male athletes. We look forward to some great competition, as well as a number of community-focused activities during the AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open.”

“We are honored to welcome back the AVP and look forward to having the top talent in professional beach volleyball right here in Huntington Beach,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Tony Strickland. “I encourage HB residents and visitors to take advantage of this fantastic event and enjoy the beautiful coastline our City is known for.” 

The AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open will feature 16-team women’s and men’s fields competing in a double-elimination bracket across three courts from Friday through Sunday. Each gender’s bracket consists of 10 teams automatically entered based on the AVP ranking points, two wild cards and four teams who will earn entry through Thursday’s open qualifier.

The 2023 AVP Tour schedule includes 12 tournaments across the country, offering more than $1.6 million in prize money. Four Tour Series events feature 16 or 24-team brackets competing over three days for a $50,000 purse, along with four Pro Series events offering a 16-team draw playing for $125,000 over three days of play. The three AVP Gold Series tournaments are three-day events with 16- or 32-team brackets, and the highest purses of the season at $300,000, along with a two-day Championship event that invites the top six teams per gender to compete exclusively at the end of the season.

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Media representing recognized editorial outlets who are interested in covering the AVP Pro Series Huntington Beach Open can apply here: https://avp.com/press-registration/.


About AVP

The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) is powered by the most dynamic and elite athletes in the world. 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the original, the biggest, the longest running, and still the best professional beach volleyball organization. It is recognized the world over as the leader in professional beach volleyball. The decorated AVP Pro Tour is the gold standard in beach volleyball, with more than 100 professional athletes competing for top prize money in front of more than 120 million fans worldwide.

The AVP Puts Gender Equity In Play

For its 40th anniversary, the AVP celebrates its past and looks toward the future with a continued commitment to strive for gender equity in professional sports. As one of the only co-gendered professional sports organizations, the AVP’s “Women Lead the Way” initiative recognizes the immense contribution that our women athletes have had on the popularity and growth of beach volleyball over the years.

The AVP Season

Beginning in March, the AVP presents four Pro and three Gold Series tournaments in locations across the U.S., culminating in the Championship Tournament in late September. Included in the schedule is the Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open, the longest-running and most prestigious beach volleyball tournament in the United States.

For more information, please visit avp.com and follow the AVP on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter @avpbeach.