Most Lethal 2016 PVL Teams

USA Volleyball’s 2016 Open National Championships kick off on Friday in Orlando, and for the fifth year, the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) will host their championship at the event.

Last year, Lloy Balls’ Hoosier Region squad, Team Pineapple, won the men’s division, while Team North Texas won the women’s. Olympians, NCAA All-Americans and former and current pros populated the rosters, and this year will be no different. Here’s a quick preview of the teams we think will be the most lethal in this year’s PVL Championships.


Team SportConX, Aloha Region

The release of this stacked roster raised quite a few eyebrows. The Aloha Region’s team from Hawaii features current professional beach volleyball players Taylor Crabb, Riley McKibbin, Miles Evans, Robbie Page and Curt Toppel, as well as Long Beach State Second Team All-American middle blocker Taylor Gregory, former University of Hawaii middle Davis Holt, Brad Lawson who won the national championship with Stanford in 2010 and Puerto Rican national team setter Fernando Morales. Team SportConX will kick off the tournament at 8 a.m. ET on May 28, taking on the New England Midnight Riders. The Midnight Riders will have to hope that the Hawaii squad is still suffering from jet lag.

Team Pineapple, Hoosier Region 

Lloy Ball, captain of Team Pineapple, needs no introduction, but in case you’re new, he’s simply a four-time Olympian and Beijing gold medalist setter. Oh, and he’s 6-8. Team Pineapple is the reigning PVL champ and returns 14 of its players from the 2015 squad. Ten of the 18 guys on the Pineapple roster are IPFW alums, alma mater of captain Ball, and the institution where his father Arnie Ball served as head coach from 1981-2015. Arnie will also be on hand in Orlando as an assistant coach for Team Pineapple. Keep an eye out for Jeff Ptak and Will Robbins who will bring the heat from the pins and Ryan Meehan and Kevin Owens, a pair of former NCAA middles, who will patrol the net at 6-8 and 6-9, respectively.

Chesapeake Rising Tide, Chesapeake Region

Coached by pro beach volleyball player and Marymount University coach Hudson Bates, Chesapeake should be a very strong all-around team. Featuring former UC Santa Barbara setter (and current UCSB assistant coach) Vince DeVany, First Team All-American University of Hawaii middle Taylor Averill, four-year Penn State starting libero Connor Curry, Second Team All-American Stanford outside hitter Steven Irvin, Ohio State national champion outside hitter Mik Berzins and a quad of former Division I middles standing at least 6-7, Chesapeake doesn’t appear to have many holes in its roster.


Florida WAVE, Florida Region

With a very strong women’s PVL field this year, it’s hard to say which team is the strongest, but if we absolutely had to pick, we would probably go with the Florida Region’s WAVE squad. Former Florida setter Mackenize Dagostino and former Michigan setter Lexi Dannemiller will supply offensive weapons Megan Courtney (Penn State), Aiyana Whitney (Penn State), Liz McMahon (Illinois) and Nicole Walch (Florida State), and don’t think they’ll be hurting on the defensive end either. Katie Mosher, career digs record-holder at Florida State, will hold it down at the libero position.

Chesapeake Rising Tide, Chesapeake Region

Any time you can count the reigning national collegiate player of the year as a member of your squad, you’re likely to do pretty well. USC’s Samantha Bricio, who recently signed her first professional contract with Conegliano in Italy, will be joined by former Hawaii outside Emily Hartong, former USC middle Alexis Olgard, former Oregon setter Lauren Plum and former Stanford middle Carly Wopat on the Chesapeake Region roster.

Great Lakes Lightning, Great Lakes Region

The Great Lakes squad will feature two collegiate coaches and a slew of recent NCAA stars. Newly announced DePaul assistant coach and four time national champion middle hitter at Penn State Arielle Wilson and Alabama assistant and former Stanford four-year starting setter and national champ Bryn Kehoe are on the roster, along with former college All-Americans Jocelynn Birks (OH, Illinois), Nia Grant (MB, Penn State), Caroline Jarmoc (MB, Kansas), Chloe Mann (MB, Florida) and Taylor Morey (L, Wisconsin).

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