The Association of Volleyball Professionals is returning to the home of some of its biggest stars. After a year’s absence, the AVP will bring its 2010 tour to Santa Barbara’s West Beach on April 29-May 2

Along with designating the 12 cities that will host beach tournaments this year, the AVP announced that it has reached an agreement with ABC and ESPN to televise its events over the next two years. The men’s final of the Santa Barbara tournament will be aired on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. on May 2.

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser will defend the men’s championship they won at West Beach in 2008, shortly after they won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. The hometown favorites — Rogers, a Santa Barbara native, and Dalhausser train at East Beach — defeated John Hyden and Brad Keenan in a wild three-set final.

Rogers said this week that he and Dalhausser will be going “full bore” on both the AVP and the international FIVB beach tours this year.

The AVP tour will start at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 16-18. Santa Barbara is the second stop on the tour. Between those events, Rogers said he and Dalhausser will play in Brasilia. The AVP’s other California events include Huntington Beach (June 3-6), Hermosa Beach (July 16-18), Malibu (July 24-25), San Francisco (August 14-15), Manhattan Beach (August 19-22), and Los Angeles (September 17-19).

Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan won the 2008 women’s title in Santa Barbara. They defeated Jen Kessy and April Ross, who had upset Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the semifinals.


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