May 2, 2006
Two-time AVCA All-America middle blocker Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) was one of eight college seniors selected to participate in the first-ever College Sports Television (CSTV) Collegiate National Beach Volleyball Championship, which was held April 21-22 in Reno, Nev., and saw the victors earn a spot on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) tour. That competition will be aired on CSTV at 9 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
In March, 30 of the best hardcourt women’s college volleyball players in the country – including Brewster and classmate Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) – were invited to try out at the first-ever AVP-sanctioned beach volleyball combine in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Of those 30, eight were selected for the CSTV Collegiate Nationals. They were paired up and divided into four teams to be coached by some of the world’s best players.
“We all had a lot of fun and learned a lot from them when we were out there,” said Brewster, the all-time Irish leader in blocks. “It’s a lot different game compared to playing indoors. We were all pretty new to the beach game, so it was a great experience.”
Brewster teamed with Jesse Veris from 2005 national champion Washington, but the duo was defeated 18-21, 21-12, 15-11 in the semifinals by the team of Bibiana Candelas from USC and Paula Gentil of Minnesota – the squad that eventually prevailed in the event, earning a spot on the AVP tour. The runners-up were Jen Abernathy from Arizona and Hawai’i’s Vicki Prince, while the other squad consisted of Rachel Wagener of Maryland and Colorado’s Allie Griffin.
The CSTV Collegiate Nationals included more than 2,000 athletes competing in seven sports: boxing, snowboarding, beach volleyball, triathlon, paintball, wakeboarding, and whitewater kayaking. For more information, see www.cstv.com/thecollegiatenationals.