Defending Champions Lambert, Metzger Headline Exciting Field at AVP Crocs Tour McDonald's Chicago Open Presented by Nautica

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McPeak, Tom, Jordan and Davis among the top female players heading to shores of Lake Michigan Aug. 2-5 - finals will be shown live on NBC. Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger, winners of three tournaments already this season on the AVP Crocs Tour, will go for a fourth when they visit the beaches of Lake Michigan.

While some of our top teams are representing the United States in an important Olympic qualifying event

Mike Lambert and Stein Metzger, winners of three tournaments already this season on the AVP Crocs Tour, will go for a fourth when they visit the beaches of Lake Michigan from Aug. 2-5 for the AVP Crocs Tour McDonald's Chicago Open Presented by Nautica.

One of the most dynamic teams on tour, the pair of Lambert - known as the "Hawaiian Curtain" - and Metzger are the defending men's AVP Team of the Year as well as the defending Chicago Open champions. In Chicago, they'll try to maintain the momentum that helped them win back-to-back events at Charleston, S.C. and Seaside Heights, N.J. earlier this summer, but won't have an easy road playing against some of the top talent on Tour.

Some of their fiercest competition will come from the re-formed team of 2003 AVP Best Defensive Player Casey Jennings and 2003 AVP Rookie of the Year Matt Fuerbringer, both of whom had been members of top-10 teams before breaking with their partners at the beginning of the 2007 season. The duo returns to the partnership that earned them four titles and seven runner-ups in four years together. And players like Anthony Medel/Fred Souza and Kevin Wong, who are always in the hunt for tournament titles, are certain to give them a run for the money in a men's field that will surely be as competitive as ever.

On the women's side, veteran superstar and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Holly McPeak, third among women's players on the career wins list, looks to re-charge her season after picking up a new partner in Brittany Hochevar. McPeak will be looking for her fifth title win on the beaches of Chicago. Logan Tom, the standout second-year player out of Stanford, 2000 Olympian and the one-time MAXIM cover girl, has partnered with Dianne DeNecochea.

Jenny Johnson Jordan and Annett Davis, who won Chicago in 2002, comprise one of the most electrifying duos in the bracket and played together in the 2000 Olympics. The duo is seeking a breakthrough at a place they once saw success after having reached the semifinals in four straight tournaments this year before finishing seventh last week in Long Beach.

While the fields will be competitive, the fight for the top spots will be ever fiercer, because the Chicago Open is one of five events throughout the 16-tournament regular season for which points are doubled toward the Crocs Cup standings.

Another compelling storyline will be Jeff Nygaard's quest for yet another tournament title in Chicago. Nygaard, the AVP's Most Valuable Player in 2003, won the Chicago Open with partner Dain Blanton in '03 and '04. Now partnered with Jason Ring, he'll try to win the event for the third time on the shores of Lake Michigan.

A native of nearby Madison, Wis., Nygaard is the winningest player on the AVP Crocs Tour with Midwest roots. Other players with Midwest ties expected to play in the Chicago Open include Nancy Mason (Belleville, Ill.) and Angie Akers (Ft. Wayne, Ind.).

The AVP Crocs Tour McDonald's Chicago Open Presented by Nautica will take place from Thursday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 5. Thursday features men's and women's open qualifying play from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday's main draw starts at 9 a.m. and ends around 6 p.m., and Saturday continues with main draw play starting at 9 a.m. and the men's finals at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, play starts at 11:45 a.m., and the women's finals begin at 3:30 p.m.

The event is being held at North Avenue Beach, at 1603 North Lakeshore Dr. in Chicago.

Both the men's and women's finals will be televised nationally live on NBC. Tickets for the AVP Crocs Tour McDonald's Chicago Open Presented by Nautica are available at http://www.avp.com.

Some stars of the AVP Crocs Tour this weekend will be pursuing Olympic glory at a Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Grand Slam event in Austria. The women's teams of Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor, Elaine Youngs/Nicole Branagh, Jennifer Boss/April Ross and Tyra Turner/Rachel Wacholder; and the men's teams of Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers and Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal are expected to travel to Austria for this key Olympic qualifying event, in which points are doubled compared to an ordinary event.

"While some of our top teams are representing the United States in an important Olympic qualifying event," AVP Commissioner and CEO Leonard Armato said, "Chicago always brings out the best in our AVP stars. We believe this year will be no exception."

The AVP recently launched avp.comTV Mosaic, which allows subscribers to watch up to four live matches at once online. The AVP has teamed with Major League Baseball Advanced Media to power the new avp.com, a redesigned Web site that uses award-winning technology to give fans the chance to watch multiple AVP games simultaneously. As the fan base of the AVP and the sport of beach volleyball continues to grow, the new avp.com serves as a portal to enhance the fan experience. For more information, please visit http://www.avp.com.

The regular season of the 2007 AVP Crocs Tour will culminate in Cincinnati, OH with the presentation of the Crocs Cup to the top men's and women's team of the season. A team's points are based upon its best 14 point totals, with cable broadcasted events worth single points, NBC broadcasted events worth double points, and the season finale in Cincinnati, which will be broadcast live on MyNetworkTV, worth triple points. The Crocs Cup is a trophy exclusively designed and crafted for the AVP Crocs Tour by Tiffany & Co. Log on to http://www.avp.com for the most up-to-date team standings.

About the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc.
AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc. is a leading lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on the production, marketing and distribution of professional beach volleyball events worldwide. AVP operates the industry's most prominent national touring series, the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, which was organized in 1983. Featuring more than 150 of the top American men and women competitors in the sport, AVP is set to stage 18 events throughout the United States in 2007. In 2004, AVP athletes successfully represented the United States during the Olympics in Athens, Greece, winning gold and bronze medals, the first medals won by U.S. women in professional beach volleyball. For more information, please visit http://www.AVP.com.

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