Powderkeg heats up today

Volleyball tourney takes over Howelsen

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The Howelsen Hill sand volleyball courts and grass outfields typically reserved for locals and Triple Crown players will get plenty of use this weekend.

The 24th annual Steamboat Powderkeg Volleyball Tournament is under way with about 300 teams expected to participate this weekend, said Doug Arritola, one of the tournament organizers with Volleyball of the Rockies.

The tournament opened Friday with the Dinosaur Doubles division, reserved for teams with a combined age of at least 76, and the opening rounds of the Men's Open/AA bracket.

The tournament continues today and Sunday with grass doubles on the baseball outfields and sand doubles on the Howelsen Hill courts and the Ski Town courts by The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Play begins at 7 a.m. for the Men's and Women's Open/AA division, the most competitive division of the tournament, at the sand courts. All other divisions -- A, BB, B -- will play on grass.

Arritola said the Steamboat Powderkeg Volleyball Tournament has drawn former professional players, making for competitive and entertaining play.

A majority of the competitors this weekend are from the Front Range, but several out-of-state players, including last year's Men's Open winners, Dave Merrill and Cory Kamanao, are in attendance.

Several local players are signed up, as well.

Cash and prizes being awarded this weekend are valued at more than $6,500. Arritola said the Men's Open/AA winning team will win about $1,000, and the Women's Open/AA winning team could win as much as $700.

People are welcome to come out and watch the volleyball matches, which will run most of the day today and Sunday.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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