As day 1 gets underway at AVP’s NYC OPEN, I want to throw it back to their AUSTIN OPEN just three weeks ago.
That’s where we witnessed history. For the first time ever, both the men’s and women’s #16 seeds knocked off their #1 seed opponents. But it just so happens, the victors in the women’s bracket are from right here in Austin! Katie Lindelow and Lauren Dickson, members of the rapidly growing Texas-based group SAND WANNABES, teamed up for their second AVP appearance together this season, to show the competition they’re not messing around!
I had the chance to catch up with Lindelow and Dickson the week following their best finish.
ANT: When did you guys decide you wanted to pursue beach volleyball as a career?
KATIE: “I always played volleyball. I liked beach. But, we didn’t get to really play competitively until LSU, which is where I went to school. Once I started playing really competitively there, I thought that my game translated really well over to the beach. Then that’s when I knew I wanted to pursue it after college. For me, it was just really choosing indoor vs beach. There was never a doubt in my mind I wanted to play after college.”
LAUREN: “I don’t know it was a conscience decision to play as long as I have.I just love it. A lot of my good friends play. It’s my social life. It’s my exercise. It helps me keep my competitive edge!”
ANT: Being an underdog at #16 for your first match, what were you thinking going up against the #1 seed?
K - “It was like a blur! We kinda had been saying, ‘Look, there are so many good teams. We don’t even have to be the best team here. We just have to be the better team for forty five minutes. And if we can play well for that amount of time, anything can happen!’ We just kept telling ourselves that! The fact that we won that first match, it was just unreal! Everything we were telling ourselves was happening. How often does that happen?”
L - “Yea, seeing the guys #16 seed just knock off the #1 seed gives you a little hope that, yea, that might happen again. You know, once you step on the court, you’re not thinking about any other game, though. You’re just thinking about playing each point the best you can. I think we did that really well. We got to the end of the match and said ‘Did that just really happen?’ I don’t know we actually put the whole match together in our heads. We were just going one point at a time.”
ANT: What has having a community like the SAND WANNABES meant to you guys?
K - “You have a friend wherever you go! I don’t think we’ve ever played a match and someone wasn’t there cheering us on! That comes from them building such a great community here with the Sand Wannabes!”
L - “It’s super special that we had our best finish here in Austin. We have such a great community here. I’m actually from Austin. So, we had high school friends out. Had family out. And the Sand Wannabes is such a great group. And it’s grown so much in just the past coupe of years. Everyone is quick to jump on the hometown team and support us!”
Where can you catch Katie and Lauren teaming up again? Well, it’s not happening again this weekend. They only committed to the first two stops on AVP’s summer tour. However, they’re considering giving it a go again in the HERMOSA or CHICAGO OPEN.
Check out AVP’s NYC OPEN, LIVE, all weekend on AMAZON PRIME VIDEO!