The 2009 Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Crocs Tour kicks off this weekend, with the opening event the Panama City Beach Open in Florida.
Laguna Beach High product Rachel Wacholder will be someone to watch on the women’s side. Wacholder, 33, played in 12 tournaments last year with partner Tyra Turner. They earned top-three finishes five times, including winning the San Diego event in August. The women’s game this year may be more competitive at the top, with the all-everything pair of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh expected to take the year off for family time.
Wacholder owns eight career tournament victories on tour.
On the men’s side, Laguna native Dain Blanton is also scheduled to begin his season this weekend.
The AVP first comes to Southern California on April 17 with the Riverside Open.
— Matt Szabo