Coney Island may no longer be good enough for the pros, but the sandy beaches of Sodom by the Sea still make a good venue for volleyball.
Several dozen amateur volleyball players convened in Coney Island last weekend to participate in the Parks Department Citywide Beach Volleyball Tournament.
The two-day tourney attracted a sizable crowd on the Boardwalk, especially during the semi-finals and finals on Aug. 9. One of the tourney’s winners said playing by Coney’s sun-kissed shore was a beautiful experience.
“I love playing volleyball because everything drops away,” said Tarik Hussein of Ditmas Park. “But it was really beautiful. The weather was perfect and it was a nice day.”
Hussein, who has been playing intramural volleyball for most of his life, said the level of competition was “intermediate.” He won despite being paired with a random partner, an Italian woman who was in town for two weeks and barely spoke English. But Hussein said the language of volleyball was the only one they needed to know.
“Volleyball is a system,” Hussein said. “It didn’t take long for us to develop some chemistry on the court.”
The tournament came just weeks after a professional volleyball tour shunned Coney Island for greener pastures in Brooklyn Heights.
The Association of Volleyball Professionals brought the Brooklyn Open to the People’s Playground in 2006, but the tournament concluded in 2010. The tour returned to Brooklyn a month ago, but the newly-dubbed New York City Open landed at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights.
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