Beach sport takes aim at city with two-on-two competition

June 11, 1998|By Eduardo A. Encina | Eduardo A. Encina,SUN STAFF

The parking lot at Bohager's, the Fells Point nightspot, will be transformed into a regulation pro beach volleyball court, using railroad ties and 200 tons of sand, for the Cuervo Beach City Challenge today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Headlining the event will be 1996 Olympic silver medalist Mike Whitmarsh as well as fellow players from the Association of Volleyball Professionals Dain Blanton, Henry Russell and Lee LeGrant. Whitmarsh and Blanton will play against Russell and LeGrant in two-on-two competition.

Baltimore is the second stop on the 10-city Cuervo City Beach Challenge.

"I really think this is an important event, because it brings the beach to the fans," said Whitmarsh, ranked fifth on the AVP tour. "It gives people in the city a chance to see pro volleyball and hopefully it will get them to come out and see us play on the tour."

Whitmarsh placed second in the 1996 Olympic trials held at the Inner Harbor, before going on to win a silver medal in Atlanta. Blanton is ranked sixth on the AVP tour and became the first African American to win an AVP event last June.

"This is something that most people in Maryland don't get to see, this kind of beach-style, two-on-two volleyball and it's great to bring it to them," Blanton said.

The public also gets to participate. For $5, fans can play in two-point games against the AVP players, with proceeds going to the Special Olympics. Amateurs who defeat the pros will win an all-expense paid trip to the Virgin Islands.

Pub Date: 6/11/98

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