Local teens eye beach volleyball nationals
Hannah Tannone and Sullivan Maney are headed to California to make their mark in the sand.
The 15-year-olds from West Palm Beach have a busy month in store as they will compete in two prestigious beach volleyball events in Hermosa Beach beginning this week.
Tannone, who is entering her sophomore year at Lake Worth Christian School, and Maney, who will be a sophomore at Seminole Ridge High School, are headed to the United States Volleyball High Performance Championships (July 17-22) and the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Junior Olympics (July 27-29).
The duo earned an invitation to compete at the first event by winning a beach volleyball tournament in Clearwater on May 10. They then qualified for the AAU event by finishing second in an event in Hollywood on June 9.
Maney said the sport provides a challenge.
"It is only you and your partner, so you don't have to worry about other people," she said. "Since there are only two people on the court, you have a lot more responsibility than indoor and a lot more court to cover."
Tannone, who plays indoor volleyball for Palm Beach Juniors during club season, agreed.
"If you make mistakes, there are no subs like indoor, so you have to fight through it and play better," she said. "You have to rely on your partner, and they have to rely on you no matter what. To remember this, we give each other a hug before each game."
Tannone and Maney, who have played together for two years, are ranked first and second, respectively, in the USA beach rankings for Under-16 Division players.
Both want to play beach volleyball in college and eventually in the Olympics.
"You try to figure out the other team's weaknesses and go after those," Maney said. "You follow the game plan. You focus on your first pass and good set location and try and move the team around and place the ball. You stay positive and play smart."
While in California, they will represent HomeTeam Juniors, the first club in South Florida to run a year-round beach volleyball program. HomeTeam Juniors is located in Deerfield Beach; however, for beach volleyball, they have several training locations throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties.
Several other players from the club are also doing well.
Maddie Bobes, Paige Duffack, Megan Keating and Taylor Keating have qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics from the 12-Under Division team, while 16-Under Division team members Samantha Dadamo, Amber Davis, Samantha Gott, Daisia Grafton, Julia Lewkowicz, Ashley Marvel, Allie Pazos, Kaitlyn Smith and Kealey Wik are all playing in that tournament.
Article originally posted by Sun Sentinel