Kerri Walsh Jennings will compete in the San Francisco Open this weekend on The Embarcadero. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Pro beach volleyball to hit The Embarcadero

The country’s best beach volleyball stars will hit the sand this weekend at The Embarcadero.

The Association of Volleyball Professionals San Francisco Open returns today after a seven year hiatus, bringing with it Olympic-bound talent mere weeks ahead of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Four-time Olympian and San Jose native Kerri Walsh Jennings enters competition as the top seed with partner April Ross, who was a silver medalist in 2012. This year’s Games will be the first for this pairing: Walsh Jennings previously competed with Misty May-Treanor, who retired after the pair’s win over Ross and Jen Kessey.

Walsh Jennings and Ross enter the weekend’s event as the top seed ahead of southern Californians Lane Carico and Summer Ross. Carico and Ross finished second in last weekend’s AVP event in New York.

Competitors for the men include the team of 2008 Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser and four-time AVP top finisher Nick Lucena. Additionally, Jake Gibb will compete in his third-straight Olympics games next month with teammate Casey Patterson.

The four-day San Francisco Open will be held on Piers 30-32 with preliminary competition beginning at
8 a.m. today. This weekend’s event is is the second-to-last stop of the tour before the Olympics, giving the athletes and coaches time to work out the kinks before international competition.

The AVP Tour, which runs from April through September, is in its 33rd season.

Admission to the event is free with premium seating available for purchase.

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