By Nick Gasparro
Chula Vista, CA – The 2023 USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate National Team camp is set to take place at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. This annual event brings together some of the most promising collegiate athletes in beach volleyball from across the United States. Aspiring players will have the unique opportunity to refine their skills, learn from renowned coaches, and compete against their peers in an intensive training environment. Let’s dive into the details of this exciting event.
Nine talented women and ten exceptional men have been selected to represent the 2023 USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate National Team. The women’s team includes Peri Brennan (UCLA), Alli Hansen (Grand Canyon), Xolani Hodel (Stanford), Paige Kalkhoff (Florida State), Chloe Loreen (Washington), Delaynie Maple (Southern California), Nicole Nourse (Southern California), Audrey Nourse (Southern California), and Ashley Vincent (Stanford). The men’s team consists of Ben Braun (Ohio State), Kupono Browne (BYU), Nato Dickinson (Long Beach State), Matthew Edwards (UCLA), Jackson Hickman (Grand Canyon), Heath Hughes (BYU), Thomas Hurst, Kyle Paulson (Southern California), Sebastian Rodriguez (Long Beach State), and Ryan Smith (Vanguard).
Several members of the women’s team have already made their mark in international competitions. Delaynie Maple clinched victory at the 2021 U19 Beach World Championship in Phuket, Thailand, while Xolani Hodel secured an impressive fourth-place finish at the same event and participated in the 2022 World University Championships. Sisters Nicole and Audrey Nourse have also showcased their talent on the FIVB World Tour, adding to the team’s depth and experience.
On the men’s side, Heath Hughes, Sebastian Rodriguez, and Ryan Smith represented the United States at the 2022 World University Championships. Hughes also competed in the 2019 U21 Beach World Championships. Additionally, Thomas Hurst claimed gold at the 2022 NORCECA U23 beach volleyball event and participated in the 2021 and 2022 U19 Beach World Championships.
The women’s team will receive guidance from co-head coaches Angie Akers and April Ross. Akers, an assistant coach at Loyola Marymount, previously coached April Ross and Alix Klineman to an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. April Ross, a three-time Olympian with gold, silver, and bronze medals, brings a wealth of experience to the team.
The men’s team will be led by head coach Dan Friend, the men’s volleyball head coach at Lewis University, with assistance from University of Washington beach assistant coach Steve McFadden. Friend’s expertise combined with McFadden’s coaching acumen will undoubtedly provide a nurturing and challenging environment for the male athletes.
Training and Development:
Under the guidance of their accomplished coaching staff, the women’s and men’s teams will undergo rigorous training CVEATC. This state-of-the-art facility offers world-class amenities and a conducive environment for honing skills and fostering camaraderie.
A maximum of four athletes per gender born in 2001 or later will have the chance to be selected for the U23 Beach National Team. These athletes will compete in the upcoming 2023 NORCECA U23 Beach Tour Championships in Grand Cayman from July 7-9, representing the United States and showcasing their talent on an international stage.
The 2023 USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate National Team camp at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center promises to be an exceptional event, providing a platform for talented collegiate athletes to enhance their skills, gain valuable experience, and compete at a high level. With a remarkable roster and dedicated coaching staff, the teams are poised to make their mark in the sport of beach volleyball.