Grand Haven’s Stevo VanderWerp and Pete Goers, perhaps the two most accomplished beach volleyball players in the area, will both be absent. Goers is on vacation, according to tour owner Scott VanderWerp, while Stevo VanderWerp is playing in an invitational tournament in Milwaukee.
“This will be the first time in four years that neither Pete or Stevo is playing in the event,” Scott VanderWerp said. Evan Engle, who teamed up with Adam Roberts to win the men’s pro division when the tour last visited Grand Haven on July 2, will also be absent. He’s playing a tournament in Malibu.
“Evan’s out in California playing a tournament, so this is pretty much a Midwest deal, with Chicago, Indianapolis, maybe some Cincinnati teams,” VanderWerp said.
“So I think this one’s going to be dominated by amateurs, and I’m excited about it.”
Amateur teams make up the bulk of the field at MBVT events. The July 2 stop at Grand Haven drew 102 teams, which VanderWerp said is near capacity for the event.
“We’re really looking at the tell-tale sign, which is the amateur sign-up,” VanderWerp said. “We had a huge showing at the last event, and early registration is really high from an amateur, high school standpoint again for this weekend. That’s great because that’s where this all grows from.
“On Tuesday, we had somebody from the east side of the state call and they’re bringing in eight teams, 16 kids, from a high school team. They come out to Grand Haven each year, camp at the state park and play on the courts that are up. This year, they’re playing in our tournament.”
The 2011 MBVT season wraps up with its tour championship event at Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon on Aug. 6-7.