Jake Gibb, Kerri Walsh Jennings attract crowds on first day of AVP tour in Salt Lake City
“To be honest I had some reservations because some people had some negative things to say about Liberty Park, so I didn’t know what to expect of the venue,’’ said April Ross, silver medalist at the 2012 Olympics. “But when I got here I thought, 'This is amazing; it’s gorgeous.' This is honestly one of the best venues I’ve seen off the beach.’’
Her partner, Jen Kessy, couldn’t agree more.
“When you think beach volleyball, you don’t necessarily think Salt Lake City. But for us playing all around the world, we don’t get to play on a beach that often anyway,’’ she said. “So to actually have it in a park is amazing. You have trees and you have grass and shade for people It’s a really, really nice venue. I’m glad they picked this spot.’’
Phil Dalhausser, on the No. 1-seeded men’s team with Sean Rosenthal, had never been to Salt Lake before this week, only driving through Southern Utah with his family years ago.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s beautiful,’’ he said. “The park is a lot bigger than I expected — it took me awhile to find it.’’
Dalhausser only had two minor complaints.
“I didn’t realize it got so hot during the summer. I’m glad we played in the morning,’’ he said. “We’re not used to this and the altitude. My lungs are burning a little bit with the elevation.’’
Star Kerri Walsh Jennings is familiar with Utah, having come out to the state for friends’ weddings and because her husband Casey played for BYU in 1999-2000. She said she doesn’t mind the hot temperatures, which got up to 100 in the afternoon.
“The hotter the better,” she said.
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