Top 20 Women (2013)
1. Traci Walsh5' 8" Traci is one of the winningest and youngest outdoor players in Utah. She has dominated the Utah beach scene for the past four years. She teamed with Helen Farr to place first at the 2009 Wasatch Beach Season Opener and won the 2009 Queen of Wasatch Beach the following weekend. In 2008, Traci won tournaments at Bear Lake, Park City, Cottonwood Complex, Ogden and Bruin Fest. She has placed as high as 9th at the MotherLode tourney in Aspen, Colorado and 2nd at the Steamboat Springs Doubles Tournament. Traci and husband Mike have two children and currently live in Bountiful.
2. Brenda Whicker6' 0" University of Utah
Brenda was one of the best players every to play at the University of Utah. She started and achieved honors all four years of her career. She left Utah as the career leader in digs, aces and kills. Brenda is a very versatile player who adapted to sand doubles easily. She and Nina Mortensen won the Salt Lake Gets Fit Tournament in 2008. Brenda is married to Jeremy Whicker, has 3 boys and loves being outdoors and active.
3. Angela Peterson6' 0" New Mexico State
Angela was a club and high school volleyball standout in Utah. She went to New Mexico State University where she led her team to the NCAA tournament and received several honors including 2002 Conference Player of the Year. Angela is currently taking care of her 3 children while living in the Provo area. 2008 beach accomplishments include: 5th place at Santa Barbara EVP Tournament, 5th place Steamboat Springs Tournament, 9th place Motherlode Volleyball Tournament in Aspen, Colorado.
4. Sundi Brown5' 10" I started playing volleyball in high school (in Idaho Falls, ID.) After high school, I got married and moved to Utah to start my family and have lived here every since. A friend first convinced me to try outdoor doubles in 2004. I've been hooked ever since, and now I enjoy it more than indoor. I serve on the UOVA Board of Directors as the Secretary, and try to stay as involved as I can with the whole Utah volleyball scene.
5. Linda Byington6' 1" University of Utah
Linda was an all-conference standout for the University of Utah and was the first Ute to join the 300 hitting club. She played professionally for the Utah Predators, helping her team win the league championship and leading the league in blocks per game. Linda currently lives in Salt Lake City, has a 6-year-old daughter, and is an Operations Manager for Flying J. 2008 beach accomplishments include: 5th place at Santa Barbara EVP Tournament, 5th place Steamboat Springs Tournament, 9th place Motherlode Volleyball Tournament in Aspen, Colorado.
6. Christina Pazzi
7. Airial Sprague (Salvo)6' 0" Played on the USA National A2 team in 2006 and on the USA Junior National team in 2005...preseason all-conference pick in 2006...West Region and Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. High School: Twice named the 5A MVP by the Desert Morning News and Salt Lake Tribune...Gatorade Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005...a three-time region MVP and first team all-state as a sophomore...led Viewmont to back-to-back state titles (2004-05)...recorded 526 kills, 69 aces, 156 digs, and 87 blocks as a senior.
Personal: Majoring sport management...born April 18, 1987...parents are Lori and Bruce Salvo...full name is Airial Maurine Salvo...nicknames are Air, Salvo, Sally and Ebas...mother played volleyball for Utah as well...favorite movies is Mulan... favorite TV shows are Grey's Anatomy and Extreme Makeover Home Edition...favorite band is All-American Rejects...favorite meal is large glass of milk with eggs, hash browns and fluffy pancakes...favorite midnight snack is string cheese...hobbies include tennis, basketball, ping pong, racquetball and doing nails...aspires to play in the Olympics...greatest athletic influence is mother and father.
8. Christie CarpenterChristie enjoyed a great indoor college career for BYU from 2007-2011 where she majored in exercise and wellness with a minor in business. Christie has only been playing outdoor volleyball for 2 years and like many former indoor players she has happily converted to the sand volleyball scene. Christie was born in San Diego California and currently lives in Provo. Christie has three brothers, one sister and enjoys running, reading, eating, movies, and anything to do with the outdoors.
9. Egan Metcalf6' 2"
University of Washington
Egan is one of the biggest blocks in the women's game. She was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. After college she moved to Salt Lake City for her job at 3form, where she is a designer. Egan started playing outdoor 2 1/2 years ago and quickly became one of Utah's elite. "I never expected to be playing and enjoying volleyball this much after college let alone beach volleyball in utah! I looove it!"
10. Laura Downey5' 8" Laura played at Kansas State University from 1999 to 2003. She was named Libero of the year in 2002 & 2003 and was part of the Big 12 Championship team in 2003. Laura enjoys spending time with her family, her dog, the outdoors and laughing a lot.
11. Kelsey Rust5' 10" | 135 lbs. Kelsey played at the University of Idaho from 2005–2009. She started playing competitive club volleyball when she was 11 years old, and grew up with 2 sisters that also played Division I college volleyball at Idaho State and University of Montana. Kelsey was named Western Athletic Conference (WAC) all conference player in 2009 and was ranked 19th overall in Women's Open at Wasatch Beach in 2011. Kelsey moved to Utah from Idaho in 2010 to work in the marketing department at Adobe Systems in Orem. She got married in July 2011 and lives in Alpine Utah. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends in the outdoors either: running, hiking, or biking in Utah.
12. Nicole Barnes5' 7" Born and raised in Utah. Nicole manages a fire and water damage clean up company that her parents started 30 years ago. She has been married for 9 years and has a 6 year old boy, a 2 year old girl, and one on the way! She played at Snow College and UVSC. Nicole was introduced to outdoor volleyball by Linda Byington. "She called and asked me to play in a coed tournament with her boyfriend. We killed everyone in our division and I've been hooked ever since!"
12. Val Pryor5' 7" Val started playing indoor volleyball in high school and then at Pierce College in LA. She also played 5 years in CBVA and AVP qualifier events on the beaches of So Co. While playing at Pierce College Val lead her team to win two conference championships (2002 & 2003). In 2003 Val was also named MVP, 1st team All Conference and all tournament team.
14. Marti Walker
15. Lori Beckstrom
16. Kiana RogersBrigham Young University
Kiana played indoor for BYU as a setter all 4 years from 2006 to 2010. After graduating in Health Promotion and Communications, Kiana has been coaching club volleyball for the past 3 years. This summer was her first time playing sand and she has "fallen in love" with it and is excited to play more. Kiana is originally from California and has 3 sisters who have played volleyball at UVU, Utah State with the youngest getting recruited now. Kiana also has 1 brother who plays football for the Utes.
17. Angie AdamsAngie finished up in 2012 with a win in League Session 3 and has placed in the top 10 Women's Open season rankings for 3 consecutive years at Wasatch Beach. Angie grew up with a passion for dance and was a dancer until one day she looked around and realized she was a foot taller than all her fellow dancers. Angie's friend who loved volleyball introduced her to the indoor game her sophomore year of high school where she quickly excelled, becoming team MVP the next year and first team all conference her junior and senior years. Deciding to skip college volleyball and focus on a law degree Angie picked up on beach volleyball in 2004 and has been playing ever since. Angie is married to Casey Adams. They have two children and live in Alpine, Utah. Angie graduated at BYU for both her undergraduate and law degree in 2001 and has been practicing law both on and off the court ever since.
18. Diana Elexpuru
19. Morgan Odale
20. McKenzie Odale
Previous top players
Helen Farr6' 0"
Helen grew up in Spanish Fork, Utah. After playing volleyball for Spanish Fork High, she continued her career as an outside hitter for Brigham Young University. Helen helped her team to three consecutive elite 8 appearances, and graduated in 1999. Since then, Helen has received a received a master's degree, been married, and now enjoys staying home with her daughter. Helen continues to love the game of volleyball and rarely misses an opportunity to play.
Andrea HanselDenton, Texas
Andrea played 4 years as libero for the University of North Texas from 1999 to 2003 before moving to Utah. She received the first ever women's college volleyball scholarship from her hometown of Denton Texas. Andrea then started playing local outdoor grass doubles tournaments before hearing about WBV. Andrea quickly learned the finer points of the sand game and have made her way into the top 20 for the 2011 and 2012.
Kristy Howard5' 10"
University of Houston and SLCC
Kristy grew up in Salt Lake City. After graduating from Skyline High School she spent one year at the University of Houston, then returned to finish school at SLCC. Kristy and her team from SLCC took second place at Nationals. Kristy and husband, Eric Howard, have two children. In addition she has a full-time job. She doesn't get to play as often as she would like, but in her words "it is such an honor to be surrounded by all of the outstanding talent here in Utah."
Cheryl KingCheryl attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln where she was an NCAA Division I All-American in track. Though the 400m was a thrilling challenge, she missed her other passion - volleyball. She started playing sand volleyball two years ago at a Queen of the Beach tournament and has been hooked ever since. (Thanks Linda!) Cheryl is married to Benjamin King and they are expecting a baby girl in October.
Camie ManwillUtah Valley University Senior (2009): Named to the Great West Conference First Team...Named Great West Conference Offensive Player of the Week three times. Lettered in volleyball, soccer, basketball, and track at Paradise HS...named All-League and All-Section in volleyball...named Section Best Defensive Specialist...named All-League and MVP in soccer, basketball, and track. Personal: Born September 22, 1987...graduated from Paradise High School in 2005 with a 4.34 GPA (ranked ninth in her class)...received the NCIF Scholastic and Athlete Award...honor roll student...named Academic All-State in volleyball, soccer, and track...majoring in Exercise Science...has three sisters whom she loves so much Ashley, Daydre, and Karly...daughter of Gary and Shauna Manwill.
Lindsey Metcalf6' 0"
Brigham Young University 2000-2004
Players Volleyball Club
Lindsey, a stay-at-home-mom, is married to Benson Metcalf. The Metcalf's have a three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.
Nina Mortensen6' 3"
Nina was a 2-time All-American and conference player of the year who led her team to the sweet 16 while at BYU. She also led the Nation in blocks per game. In 2002, Nina played on the US National Team and was the A2 Captain. She played professionally in Finland in 2002-2003. Nina has a Masters Degree in Exercise Science; she was an assistant coach for UVSC (2003-2004) & BYU (2005-2006). In 2008 Nina and Brenda Whicker were the Salt Lake Gets Fit Champions.
Heather Olmstead5' 9"
Utah State University
Born and raised in Carpinteria, California, Heather grew up playing beach volleyball with her Dad and siblings. She played at Utah State from 1998-2001 and then played the 2003 season professionally in Rijeka, Croatia. Heather began her coaching career at Utah State, where she coached from 2003 until 2006. She is now an Assistant Coach at the University of Utah. Heather and her partner took 1st at the 2009 Life's a Beach tourney at Wasatch Beach.
Kiera Powers (Roberts)Kiera played as an outside hitter and libero at BYU-Hawaii in 2000. She has been the Wasatch Beach women's representative and has been on the board since 2011 and has been playing and enjoying sand volleyball since 2008.
Rebecca "Becky" Steel5' 9" College of Southern Idaho and University of New Orleans
Rebecca was recruited to play college basketball from American Falls, Idaho. The ultimate gym rat, she agreed to play both basketball and volleyball in both junior college and in the Sunbelt Conference. Rebecca has a passion for volleyball that will never subside and is excited about being in a position to spread her love for the game. She began coaching her daughter's club team in 2009 and expects to have 3 UOVA members in the family this summer. Rebecca balances a full-time career as a Director of National Accounts while striving to keep up with her husband Craig and four children.
Jenny TaylorBaylor, Texas
Jenny played 2 years indoor right side middle for UMH Baylor in Texas before moving to Utah. She then started playing local outdoor grass doubles tournaments before hearing about WBV. Jenny and partner Aundrea Hansel quickly learned the finer points of the sand game and have made there way into the top 20 rankings for the 2011 and 2012.
Thanks to Linda Byington and all of these players for supplying the images and bios.