Pro beach volleyball returns this week with the start of the three-week AVP Champions Cup Series in Long Beach (July 17-19, July 24-26, July 31-August 2). This is part of a series profiling new teams for 2020.
Molly Turner and Kathryn “Katie” Hogan are seeded eighth in the qualifier, 14th overall. Turner is a 5-foot-8 defender, Hogan a 6-4 blocker.
Turner’s best domestic finish in 2019 was fifth in Seattle, while Hogan broke through to the 2019 Hermosa Beach final with Megan Rice.
The two were connected by a mutual friend, Grand Canyon beach coach Kristen Batt. Turner, who played at GCU, loves to combine travel and volleyball, having gone to Phnom Penh and Punta Cana, so when Hogan invited her to play the East End Volleyball event in Clearwater Beach, Fla., she jumped at the chance.
The two found instant chemistry, winning the EEVB Clearwater event in three sets over Priscilla Piantadosi-Lima and Bree Scarbrough.
“Wow, it’s really easy to play with each other, and we think the same way,” Turner said. “It was a random tournament and we just really enjoyed playing next to each other.”
Hogan lives in Pompano Beach, Fla., but Turner lives in Hermosa. That’s a training obstacle.
“Unfortunately, she lives in Florida,” Turner said, “so it’s a little bit funky, but when things were normal, we said, ‘Hey, let’s see how things work, let’s see if we can manage to do this.’ ”
Hogan went to California early so the pair could get some valuable pre-tournament reps.
Turner likes the contrast in the on-court personalities: Turner is the fiery one, Hogan, who played at FIU, is calm and technical.
“Katie is a really calm player. I feel like I’m really emotional, which has its ups and downs. She normalizes my personality on the court, which is a really good thing, because I can hit really high peaks and really low valleys.
“I love to be emotional on the court, I really resonate with that, I love to show how pumped up I am when I am in that zone. She’s really calm and collected, and very straightforward the whole game.
“She has a very technical side to her, and I feel like I’m very unorthodox.”
VolleyballMag.com is featuring all of 2020’s new teams for the AVP Champions Cup. Previous features include:
Avery Drost/Ryan Doherty
Brittany Tiegs/Carly Wopat