Three time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings today announced her withdrawal from the FIVB Grand Slam at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball due to an abdominal strain, but will still compete in the World Series Cup with partner Whitney Pavlik beginning Saturday.
“I am very disappointed that I won’t be able to compete in the FIVB Grand Slam,” said Walsh Jennings. “In consultation with my doctor, we felt that the potential of playing several matches in the Grand Slam would not be wise with my injury. Having the extra time off to rest will allow me more time to heal.
“Fortunately, I have been cleared to play in the World Series Cup with Whitney,” Walsh Jenning added. “I am so excited that we will have the opportunity to represent our country in this inaugural event as we battle the world for bragging rights.”
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball features the first Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) sanctioned Grand Slam tournament in the United States since 2003, and will include the inaugural World Series Cup, a special competition that will feature the top U.S. men’s and women’s teams competing against the best teams from around the world. NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports Network will provide 23 hours of programming of the competitions, including telecasts of the men’s and women’s Grand Slam finals and World Series Cup Finals.
“Kerri will certainly be missed in the Grand Slam, but we are thrilled that she will be able to participate in the World Series Cup,” said Leonard Armato, the event’s producer and creator. “The U.S. women will be extremely well represented with Whitney and the return of Annett Davis, a true powerhouse, along with 2012 silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy. There will be a lot of great competition and beach volleyball fans will be treated to some extraordinary action.”
Pavlik, a graduate of the University of California Irvine will team with UCLA All-American Annett Davis who had a standout pro beach volleyball career with Jenny Johnson Jordan.
“It’s unfortunate Kerri won’t be able to play in the Grand Slam, but I’m so excited we can still compete in the World Series Cup,” said Pavlik. “It will be a wonderful opportunity and experience to represent the U.S. I’m thrilled that I will be playing in the Grand Slam with Annett. She is an outstanding beach volleyball player and has the experience and knowledge to compete on the world stage. I look forward to this week and playing with two amazing women.”
The full week of world-class beach volleyball will also give dedicated volunteers a chance to help this event in a variety of ways. One of the noteworthy groups planning to volunteer is PathPoint, a local nonprofit that supports adults with disabilities and disadvantages to live and work as valued members of the community. PathPoint participants are excited to contribute to the success of the event by working as greeters, scorekeepers, player and VIP box attendants and other competition and hospitality-related responsibilities.
Stay tuned to GazettesSports.com all weekend for coverage of all of the WSOBV action.