EEVB is doing something new this year that we have never done before, sponsoring a team on the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. Many teams go through tournament programs such as East End Volleyball’s program on their way to the AVP. The best example of that was Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena. Phil won 9 EEVB tournaments on his way to the Olympic Gold medal while Nick won 10 and is currently ranked 5th on the AVP Tour.
We feel that Steve Grotowski and Mike DiPierro are in a similar position to not only qualify for the AVP as many players coming through our program have, but to make some real noise on the AVP Tour this summer. An example of this (and what made me realize that they would be a good pair to sponsor) was their match in the Ft. Lauderdale AVP season opener. Grotowski/DiPierro played the #4 seeded team in the tournament. The match went 3 games before Rosenthal/Gibb won 19-17 in a game to 15 pts. Grotowski/DiPierro served for the win leading 16-15.
What was most obvious in Ft. Lauderdale was not that Grotowski/DiPierro are a good team but that they are a very popular good team with lots of loyal fans in Florida. That is visible on the video EEVB posted on YouTube of the 3rd game against Rosenthal/Gibb (see it at http://www.youtube.com/user/EEVB12#p/a/u/0/kHfeHXUdIXM). The video has been played over 1100 times in the 8 days after the tournament. I expect their fan base to grow as EEVB players all along the East Coast become familiar with Grotowski/DiPierro and follow them weekly as they move around the country playing the full 2010 AVP Schedule.
Steve Grotowski is 6’6” tall and 27 years old and has played professionally in Europe the past 2 years as he worked towards representing Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympics. He has dual British/US citizenship. Mike DiPierro is also 6’6” and 29 years old and hits almost as hard with his left arm and he does with his dominant right arm. The thing to remember about the sport of beach volleyball is that there is a lot more to it than just hitting the ball hard and running around in the sand. Beach volleyball at the highest level is a mental game where experience is worth as much as athletic ability. At the very top every player can hit, block and pass. But not every player knows how to win. The best players in the sport reach their full potential between 28 and 32 years old which is exactly where Grotowski and DiPierro are at.
East End Volleyball’s Facebook page will be the place to follow Grotowski/DiPierro this summer.
They will also run a few junior clinics tied in with their play at soon to be announced EEVB tournaments. They are already involved with the Boomers Beach Club (www.boomersvolleyball.com) in South Florida. They ran clinics at the spring EEVB Siesta Key and Clearwater tournaments and won this past weekend at Clearwater. That earned them a trip to the $8,000 Big Shot Championships at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City. Hopefully they will not make that tournament because they will be playing at the AVP Chicago Open. If they advance far enough in Chicago they will not be able to play in AC where Mike has already won 3 times.
We hope that this sponsorship makes it easier for them to compete on the remaining AVP tournaments during the 2010 season. And we hope that it makes it easier for everyone to enjoy following them on EEVB’s Facebook page throughout the 2010 AVP season. It can be a lot of fun watching an upcoming team move through the ranks to become a strong professional team which is exactly EEVB feels will happen with Grotowski/DiPierro.
East End Volleyball