A picture-perfect weekend was delivered for the EVP Beach Sports Festival at Racine’s North Beach. For their part, the beach volleyball pros delivered picture-perfect excitement.
The EVP (Extreme Volleyball Professionals) Tour included Racine for the 12th straight year Saturday and Sunday. Saturday included a juniors amateur tournament as well as men’s and women’s 2-on-2 pro tournaments. The men’s and women’s finals were Sunday morning. The volleyball action was presented by Real Racine, the county’s destination marketing organization.
David Joyce and Matt Baleiko of Chicago defeated Steven Sokol and Matthew O’Sullivan two out of three games for the men’s championship.
Joyce and Baleiko could be nicknamed “Team Pokemon” for their choice of headgear. Baleiko just laughs and says the Pokeman hats help them keep things loose.
In the women’s championship, the team of Bella Kuechenberg of Lowell, IN and Liz Eddy of St. Joseph, MI beat Heidi Pfeffer and Erin O’Connor. At just 16, Kuechenberg is an authentic phenom who has been a consistent winner on the EVP Tour.
The gorgeous lakefront setting (USA Today readers earlier this year named North Beach was named a Top 5 U.S. Freshwater Beach) wasn’t lost on the fans or the players.
“We really love coming here. The fans who turn out are really into it – it just makes it special,” says player Erin O’Connor of Iowa City, IA.
Plans are already under way by Real Racine to bring back the EVP Beach Sports Festival for Fathers Day weekend 2017.
EVP, meanwhile, is bringing a juniors tournament to North Beach next weekend (June 25-26). Details at www.evptour.com