MASON, OH (FOX19) - The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) makes it return to Cincinnati this spring for the 17th straight year offering even more excitement than usual since the tournament doubles as a Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) Olympic Qualifier.
In order to compete this summer in Rio, beach volleyball players must earn a certain number of qualifying points at designated FIVB global events.
The Cincinnati Open is the only U.S. event with that designation so the field will be stacked with potential Olympians seeking those coveted points before national team selection time for the Summer Games.
The AVP/FIVB Cincinnati Open will be the third stop on the AVP's 2016 schedule for 2016. It will feature the top 32 men's teams and the top 32 women's teams competing in four days of main draw play preceded by a one-day qualification tourney.
In addition to the world's best volleyball talent, the event doubles as the ultimate beach festival with interactive activations, music, food and more.
Among the teams already committed to play at the event are three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross (an Olympic silver medalist in 2012). Walsh Jennings could be competing for her record 4th Olympic Gold Medal for the USA, should she and Ross qualify for the 2016 Games. 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Phil Dalhausser and reunited partner and best friend Nick Lucena will also compete. Dalhausser has won at least one AVP title annually since 2005. Powerhouse teams from countries as varied as the Netherlands, Mexico and Vanuatu are already signed up to compete, bringing an international, Olympic flare to Cincinnati.
The event is held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH. Competition is from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. every day until Saturday. Admission is free and open to the public.