Billy Ketch Allen

A Mostly Volleyball Blog


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Seattle AVP (Thirteen Years in the Making)

I played my first AVP tournament my senior year of college with my Northridge teammate Ty Tramblie. Ty was the only other “beach guy” at Northridge so, despite the fact that we competed for the same setting position indoor, we’d play beach together as much as possible. At first, this consisted of games on the shallow dorm courts that felt more like kitty litter than actual sand. Then we heard rumors of a guy living near campus with a sand court in his backyard so we found out where and showed up one day. When no one answered the door we climbed the fence and crept to the backyard where some middle-aged men were playing doubles. They stopped their game, surprised to see some kids nervously crossing their yard. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could play next. That’s how we met Jim, a man who spent his entire twenties working on a fishing boat in Alaska before coming back a decade older and with enough money to buy a house in Northridge and build a sand volleyball court. We were lucky to find Jim’s court. It gave us and other Northridge players a place to play for years to come. Sometimes I’d sneak over to Jim’s on game days to get some doubles in, then hurry straight to the team locker room to shower all traces of sand off before our Northridge match. I couldn’t get enough volleyball. Continue reading