New faces showing growing depth of USA beach volleyball
Mima Mirkovic (left) and Kathryn Plummer are headed for the U21 world champs in Nanjing later in 2017
Lausanne, Switzerland, January 9, 2017 – USA volleyball is taking steps to ensure that the country will remain competitive at the top level of beach volleyball after the current wave of superstars have retired from the sport.
In December, dozens of beach volleyball teams converged on the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, for the U21 Team Trials. Out of the many, two teams prevailed to earn the right to represent USA at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball Under 21 World Championships in Nanjing, China.
Three of the four trials champions went to the Under 19 World Championships in 2016. Kathryn Plummer and Mima Mirkovic will aim to match their bronze medal finish and Clay Messenger, who will compete with Adam Wienckowski.
With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games cycle about to begin the hope is that now beach volleyball is a National Collegiate Athletic Association-sponsored sport, that a new wave of better-prepared players will emerge from the Collegiate system.
Marcio Sicoli and Jose Liola are two College coaches who have been brought into the US national team system and the aim is that there will be a natural progression from Junior Beach Tour to High Performance to NCAA and then US National Team.
Plummer and Mirkovic and Messenger and Wienckowski will compete in Nanjing from July 11-16 and the hope is that they will also begin to make their mark on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that begins on their home sand, at the Fort Lauderdale Major Series event that runs from February 7-12.