Family Fun at the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach

By Elena Epstein

Emily Epstein, left, and Erin Epstein, right, got to snap a photo with beach volleyball player April Ross at the Beach Volleyball World Series. PHOTO BY ELENA EPSTEIN

During the summer 2016 Olympics, my daughters became huge fans of the Beach Volleyball games. The sport is fast paced and exciting, and we found ourselves following the U.S. women’s team closely, which made a recent weekend in July super-exciting for us. The Beach Volleyball World Series was in Long Beach and we got an up-close view of the games and some of the best players in the world.

This was our first time at this event, held at Alamitos Beach, and we had a blast. There were multiple tournaments featuring U.S. teams competing against top international teams. The four-day event also included a National Volleyball League tournament and the AAU Junior National Championships, showcasing the best young beach volleyball players in the nation.

The event also featured a fun Kids’ Day in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach, where young fans had an opportunity to get some play time, see talented child performers, watch the world’s best volleyball players in action and learn the sport from elite players, celebrities and coaches.

For my daughters, the women’s championship match featuring April Ross, who they had followed closely during the 2016 Olympics, was the most exciting. In the final, Ross and Lauren Fendrick went up against Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca of Brazil. The stands were filled to capacity, the crowd did not stop cheering and Long Beach residents dressed as George Washington, Wonder Woman and Apollo Creed added a super-fun vibe to the games. While Brazil won the title, we did feel the excitement of the Olympics all over again as we chanted “U.S.A.” with the boisterous crowd.

What’s great about these games is that the players walked around after the final game, signing autographs and taking photos with fans. The venue is not super-big and right on the beach, so we had the opportunity to see the games close-up and even take a great photo with Ross.

Following the games, we took a stroll along the beautiful Long Beach harbor and through Shoreline Village—a great family destination with lots of restaurants and cute shops.

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