AUSTIN (KXAN) — Olympians, world champions and thousands of spectators will pack Krieg Fields this weekend.
The 2022 Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Tour kicked off in Austin Friday, bringing the biggest names in beach volleyball to town.
“Austin is awesome, the heat is kicking in,” said athlete Maria Salgado, who started the tournament with a win Friday morning alongside partner Delaney Mewhirter.
The heat Salgado is talking about has the potential to reach record levels, with the KXAN First Warning Weather team forecasting triple digits.
“Hydrating way more and having electrolytes way before,” said Salgado, who’s used to the heat being from Brazil. “Because if you start now, there’s no time. You have to start at the beginning of the week.”
AVP’s medical tent was stocked and ready.
“We have electrolytes in the tent, we have salt tabs, we have pickle juice. It’s definitely more of a southern thing where they just sell the pickle juice, but this works so quickly,” said AVP Medical Director Karena Wu, who added this crop of elite athletes is no stranger to high temperatures.
“These being volleyball athletes, they are tremendous at knowing their bodies, so it’s pretty rare that we have to deal with a massive heat injury,” she said.
Return to a full AVP schedule
The professional beach volleyball season, like the rest of the pro sports world, took a pause in 2020.
In 2021, the tour featured a three-stop main draw, with top-tier pro tournaments in Atlanta, Chicago and Manhattan Beach, Calif.
This schedule this year features 16 tournaments in 12 states and offers $2 million in prize money. AVP Austin hosted 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams competing for a $125,000 purse.
Mewhirter said she’s thrilled to line her summer up with a full AVP schedule.
“So exciting. You can’t replicate it at practice. So it’s always an extra level of adrenaline,” she said. “It’s so exciting, it’s awesome to be here in Austin again. It’s been not just a couple years since we had a good season — but a full season.”