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23rd Annual Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival

posted Feb 18, 2015, 3:52 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Feb 23, 2015, 2:37 AM ]
Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival
Update as of Feb 24: Please take notice that the Kids Cup in Saipan will have two divisions 1) 17U and 2) 13U.
Update as of Feb 22: Please take notice that the Kids Cups in both Guam and Saipan have been moved to SUNDAY March 15th.

The 23rd Annual Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival, officially sanctioned by the FIVB since 2008, is ready to roll from February 26th to March 15th. The Festival is a combination of events that spans the generations and abilities of players. This year’s event will have pro players from Japan, China, and the US. The professionals from Japan are Erika Habaguchi, Samaa Miyagawa, Kosuke Sato and Tsuchiya Takashi. Habaguchi is a returning three time champion that now plays on the professional tour. Rongrong Shen, Mentong Wang, Wuqin Lin and Zequan Lu will be coming from China, and Paul Baxter will be coming back from California to defend the men’s title with Guam beach volleyball standout Misaki Cramer. Cramer became the youngest ever champion last year. While Baxter will be shooting for a record fifth title.

This year the Festival kicks off with the main event, the Marianas Pro-Am Cup, to be held on Guam at Ypao Beach Park. The event starts with a free clinic conducted by the pros at 4pm on February 26th. The clinic is open to all age groups to learn about the beach volleyball game. February 27th will feature an exhibition game between the pros from Japan and China beginning at 6pm. Immediately following the exhibition will be a raffle in which some lucky amateur players will win a chance to play in the tournament with one of our visiting pro players. The main tournament will start on February 28th with pool play. The top 16 teams will advance to the double elimination bracket on March 1st. “This is the biggest weekend of the year for our beach players from around the region,” stated Jon Cramer, VP for Guam Volleyball Federation. He continued, “It gives them a good test of where their skill level is against pros and top amateurs from the neighboring islands.”

The Festival continues with the Marianas Junior Cup to be held at the Fiesta Resort & Spa on Saipan March 7th and 8th. The Junior Cup is for players 19 years old and under, with both men’s doubles and women’s doubles teams. March 7th will consist of pool play with the top 16 teams advancing to the double elimination bracket on March 8th.

The final event is the Marianas Kids Cup to be held on March 14th in both Guam and Saipan. This event is a 4-person co-ed event for players aged 14 and under. The Kids Cup will begin with pool play in the morning followed by a double elimination bracket in the afternoon. Last year’s Kids’ Cup had 48 players on Guam and over 100 on Saipan. Cramer sums it up, “The whole three weekends are about having fun and growing the sport. Many players come for the friendships that have been developed at Cup over the years. In fact, there are always several combinations of teams of people from different countries.”

Guam Volleyball Federation is encouraging young players from Guam to go and compete against the strong pool of players on Saipan. While NMI Volleyball Association is encouraging Saipan volleyball players to represent in the ProAm Cup. United Airlines is offering special rates for both Saipan players to attend the ProAm and the Guam players to attend the Junior Cup.

Registration forms can found at St. John’s School Gym, Guam Volleyball Federation Facebook page, Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival Page, NMI Volleyball’s website www.nmivolleyball.org, or email guamvolleyball@gmail.com or nmivolleyball@gmail.com. Teams registering for the Pro-Am event must do so by 6pm, February 22nd. Teams that register by February 18th 6pm will receive a $20 discount. In Guam, please call Jon Cramer (727-4999) or Chris Shepherd (727-8443) for more information or in Saipan you can call Laurie Peterka (670) 483-7499. GVBF would like to thank our current platinum level sponsors – GVB, United Airlines, PIC Guam, and GHD. NMIVA would like to thank Saipan’s major sponsors – MVA, Fiesta Resort & Spa, DoCoMo Pacific and Practical Solutions LLC. There is always room for more sponsors, contact Jon Cramer or Laurie Peterka for more details on sponsorship packages.