SANDCAST is the leading podcast for beach volleyball and stories in the volleyball world. Hosts Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter take listeners into the world of the AVP, FIVB, NORCECA, and any other professional beach volleyball outlets, digging deep into the lives of the players both on and off the court as well as all of the top influencers in the game.


The 2018 beach volleyball season is, remarkably, upon us. In a way, at least. 

The FIVB kicked off the 2018 year in the very first week of the year, hosting an indoor beach tournament at The Hague, a four-star event to open the season, hauling in a variety of new partnerships and unfamiliar faces.

One of those new partnerships, of course, was that of April Ross and Alix Klineman, who took the longest road possible, battling through a pair of country quota matches, two more in the qualifier, and then running off six straight-set wins in the main draw to claim gold, beating Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado – another team that came out of the qualifier – in the finals.

“I’m going to be riding high on this win for awhile and this week in The Hague was a blast,” Ross wrote on Instagram afterwards. “Pretty excited or this journey.”

It was Klineman’s first international beach tournament, though far from her first time on a big stage, having played on both the Brazil and Italian indoor leagues.

As for the rest of the U.S. teams, though, it wasn’t quite the start to the year many would have desired.

Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes finished ninth, while Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross took a 17th and Lauren Fendrick and Karissa Cook finished 25th. The men didn’t fare much better, with the new partnership of Billy Allen and Ryan Doherty claiming the highest finish of American teams at ninth. Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick and Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske both finished 17th.

"It was definitely a little weird overall," said Trevor Crabb, who failed to make it out of the qualifier, on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter. "Me and [Sean Rosenthal] pretty much decided we won't practice together before we left for the trip because I went back to Hawaii for the offseason and pre-season for six weeks, doing some training there, and I'm not exactly sure how much training he was doing. It was so early in the year, it's the end of off-season and beginning of pre-season, and it affected us for sure." 

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Dos Equis had it all wrong when the beer company casted actor Jonathan Goldsmith as its "Most Interesting Man in the World" campaign. 

It missed out on Ryan Doherty. 

Even amongst a group of peers with circuitous routes into beach volleyball, Doherty’s path has been exceptionally itinerant. A star pitcher out of the baseball-mad town of Toms River, New Jersey, Doherty threw for Notre Dame in college. He left early, going undrafted but getting scooped up by the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he spent two years in the minor leagues, years filled with long bus rides, pitching well, pitching not so well – until he got the call from the manager’s office. Doherty was cut.

It was, as rock bottom moments can often be, a watershed moment for Doherty, as serendipitous as it was crushing.

After couch surfing for a bit in South Carolina, where he was routinely beaten down in beach volleyball by high schoolers, Doherty had made up his mind: He was moving to California, and he was going to play professional beach volleyball.

Since, the 7-foot-1 – well, 7-foot-and-a-half – blocker has partnered with Olympians Casey Patterson, Nick Lucena, Todd Rogers and John Hyden. He has beaten Phil Dalhausser. He has represented the United States internationally and domestically, becoming a mainstay on both the AVP and FIVB Tours.

Doherty discusses all of that and a great deal more on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter.

Mentioned in the show:

Doherty wrote a book, Avatar’s Guide to Beach Volleyball. You can get that on Amazon here:

Where you can find Doherty:

Twitter: @RyanDVolley

Facebook: Ryan Doherty

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