September 19, 2012 - Las Vegas, NV – The National Volleyball League’s (NVL) “Best of the Beach” tournament hit the sands of Sin City this weekend and crowned Olympians Jake Gibb and April Ross as the winners after two grueling days of matches without their usual partners. The fan favorite tournament, which pits the country’s top-ranked pro beach volleyball players against each other in a competition for individual supremacy, took place at the Bagatelle Beach pool, next to the Tropicana Hotel, on September 13-15, 2012.
Forty of the sport’s top men and women competed, including 2012 Olympic Silver Medalists Jen Kessy and April Ross, Olympian and Gold medalist Phil Dalhausser, the number one ranked team in the world, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, and Las Vegas native Casey Jennings. Players did not compete in their traditional pairs, rather, teammates were determined by a random draw. In the Saturday evening finals, April Ross, Jenny Kropp, Jake Gibb, and Matt Fuerbringer picked cards to see who would choose their partner first for the finals. Jake Gibb and partner Nick Lucena edged out Matt Fuerbringer and partner Phil Dalhausser 21-15, 18-21, 15-12 and April Ross and partner Jen Fopma beat Jenny Kropp and partner Raquel Ferreira 21-11, 21-14.
“This tournament is the perfect way to close out the NVL’s season,” says Albert Hannemann, CEO and Founder, NVL. “The fans love to watch their favorite athletes battle it out for bragging rights of ‘Best of the Beach’ and we’re excited to bring this event back year after year.”
“The ‘Best of the Beach’ tournament was such a blast to compete in and I’m thrilled to be the final woman standing,” says April Ross. “This summer has been filled with great competition and now we’re looking forward to another exciting season of pro beach volleyball in the U.S. next year!”
Sponsored by Australian Gold, Wilson, ASICS, Sensa, Just Fab, and The ONE group, the tournament gave fans a front row seat to pro beach volleyball action, while also offering an exclusive first look at the Bagatelle Beach venue. Owned by The One Group Entertainment, Bagatelle Beach is a 75,000 square foot dayclub and nightclub complex featuring two pools, elevated VIP stage area, and two sand volleyball courts. The club will not officially open until later this fall.
The NVL played its first pro season in 2011, creating a new model for the sport by producing tournaments in conjunction with large-scale consumer lifestyle events. This year, the NVL hosted four professional tournaments and 22 collegiate events in partnership with “King of the Beach” Sinjin Smith and his National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Association. A full schedule is planned for 2013 including eight professional tournaments and 46 collegiate events. NVL events are sanctioned by USA Volleyball and players who compete will receive a USA Volleyball national ranking.
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ABOUT THE NVL
The National Volleyball League (NVL) is the professional beach volleyball association in the U.S. The NVL was founded in late 2010 by pro beach volleyball player Albert Hannemann and played its first full pro season in 2011. Its tournaments are often produced in conjunction with large-scale lifestyle events. The NVL was created to fully support the needs of the players, fans and sponsors. More information can be found at www.thenvl.com.
ABOUT BAGATELLE AMERICA
Created by hospitality entrepreneurs Remi Laba and Aymeric Clemente, Bagatelle America is a partnership with The ONE Group, with current U.S. operations in Los Angeles. Additional outposts are slated for Miami and the much-anticipated re-opening and of the Bagatelle flagship in New York City. For more information on Bagatelle visit: www.bistrotbagatelle.com; www.bagatellelasvegas.com; www.twitter.com/BagatelleLV; http://www.facebook.com/BagatelleLV;
About The ONE Group
The ONE Group is a high-end hospitality company that develops, manages and operates a portfolio of high-energy restaurants, lounges and bars. The company also operates a turn-key food and beverage program for hotels and resorts. The company was established with the vision of becoming a market leader in the hospitality industry by melding service, ambiance and cuisine into one great experience. By applying over 45 years of experience from its affiliated hospitality company, U.K.-based The Modern Group, The ONE Group continues to expand its concepts into major U.S. markets. Since introducing its first venue in January 2004, The ONE Group has opened more than two dozen hospitality venues, and currently operates or is partnered with brands in 24 venues and multiple hotel services contracts. The company will launch its first international operation in 2012. Corporate brands include One, STK, Asellina and Cucina Asellina. Partner brands include Bagatelle, Tenjune, as well as Gansevoort Park Rooftop and The Rooftop at The Perry South Beach. For more information about The ONE Group please visit www.togrp.com; www.twitter.com/TheONEGroupUS; www.facebook.com/TheONEGroupUS