POINT BEACH – There was no shortage of competitive beach volleyball this past weekend as Great American Volleyball [GAV] touched down on the sand at Jenkinson’s Beach and Boardwalk. With a total of 42 doubles courts set up across the beach, players of all ages flocked to Point Pleasant Beach for Saturday and Sunday tournaments. Saturday’s competition included the finale of GAV Junior Beach Club Series, as well as different levels of men’s and women’s doubles tournaments. Sunday’s tournaments included co-ed and juniors. All of the games that were not part of the Junior Beach Club Series were part of the weekend tournament called Shot Caller Showdown. Point Pleasant Beach is a familiar venue for the GAV weekend and spans the spectrum of skill level and age. “We’ve been doing this tour for 15 years. Point Pleasant is our main beach. We do travel throughout the state, though — Atlantic City, Seaside, Brigantine,” explained Gant. “We span the whole spectrum. We will be Men’s Pro, Women’s Pro all the way down to Men’s B, Women’s B Level. So regular, old people can play.” The 42 courts set up for this weekend is a large number of nets explained Gant. Usually the tournaments average somewhere between 30 and 35 courts. The set up itself took almost 12 hours. “Our crew, our amazing staff, was here yesterday morning at 8 o’clock setting up and they did not finish set up for this particular event until about 9 o’clock last night,” Gant told The Ocean Star Saturday morning. “Forty-two nets today, which is impressive. This is a big tournament.” GAV was originally founded by Gant’s husband, Wayne, who created it at the age of 23. “My husband actually played pro, semi-pro volleyball for a long time. He has won tournaments up and down New Jersey, Florida — all of that for a long time,” stated Carly. “Then he decided to start the business.” GAV is a great program for volleyball players of any age and skill level. For those looking to work on their game there are hitting clinics available and then, of course, the tournaments provide hands- on, real play experience. GAV is sanctioned by Volley America and players that compete in tournaments throughout the season can earn points and are nationally ranked through Volley America. While it may seem like GAV is a private club, it is open to the public and any interested volleyball players. GAV also runs adult recreational leagues that play on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as club practices. Gant and her husband have done a solid job of making volleyball, the sport they love, a central part of their daily lives. “It’s our passion,” said Grant. “We love it. It’s what we do.”
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