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April 23, 2022, CHATTANOOGA, TN - It took a single weekend for the self-described “pestering” to begin. Brant Donlon, the Sports Business Development Manager for Chattanooga Sports, a subdivision of the Chattanooga Tourism Company, traveled to Greenville, South Carolina, to take a look at the 2020 AVP Grass Nationals. Alongside him was colleague Cassidy Brinkley, the Chattanooga Sports Event Manager. They took inventory of what they saw: the hundreds of grass players, the laid back vibe – a mix of professional competition and family-friendly tailgating – the sponsor activations, the social media content being blasted from one Instagram account to...

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Kelly Wood had it all mapped out. This summer was to be the Summer of Volleyball. Her last one before starting a family.  She’d already quit her job, too. Freed up the whole schedule. And with the AVP throwing 16 tournaments this season, and AVPAmerica hosting events on both grass and beach nearly every weekend, Wood would make her finale as a full-time player a grand one. Evidently, God heard of these masterful plans. As He is wont to do, He had a good wink and chuckle at them. “We were planning on getting pregnant in the middle of summer,”...

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Last weekend’s CBVA could have gone one of two ways for Agnieszka Pregowska. Her initial estimate of the day allowed little room between the two.“Morning of, I told Heather [Friesen], ‘Hey I don’t know if I’m going to win one game, I don’t know if I’m going to win the whole tournament,’” Pregowska said. “I’m just going to see where I’m at and hopefully it’ll be fun to be back in a competition.’ That was my mindset. No pressure. I was hoping that my body would get me through the day. It took a lot of doing but that was...

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April 15, 2022 - This weekend is a significant one in Christian circles. Good Friday. Easter Sunday. The biggest day of the year outside of Christmas. And all over the country, many will be celebrating by enjoying health of both mind and body, playing beach volleyball on stomachs filled with Reese’s peanut butter eggs, fueling for matches by the readily-available sugar of marshmallow peeps – if that’s your thing – and gigantic, chocolate, Easter bunnies. Oh, yes. There’s still volleyball being played this weekend. While entry lists are understandably smaller than usual, given the significance of the weekend, tournaments are...

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Every spring, Marc Fornaciari would unfailingly wonder the same question: Could he win the Clash?  It seemed an unreasonable request at first, the type that, if said aloud, might draw some snickers and sneers. Because when Fornaciari began aspiring to one day compete in the finals in the Clash, a grass triples tournament held annually in Lexington, South Carolina, one of the biggest events of the year, he couldn’t even break pool. Still, a boy can dream. “There were so many eyes on it, it was always so large,” Fornaciari said. “There’s a lot more spectators. Then when I finally won it,...

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