Thursday, February 12, 2009

Paul Baxter returns to the Marianas Cup!

Professional US Beach Volleyball Player, Paul Baxter will return for his 6th visit to the CNMI to defend his title. Last year, he and partner, Randy Steele, won the Men’s Championships by defeating 21-13, the Japanese duo of Daisuke Matsumoto and Shigekazu Fujimatsu. In 2004, the Baxter and Steele tandem also took top honors.

The 37 year old, 6’5” Minnesota native started his volleyball career at the junior level for Team Sota of Minnesota. He continued at Ball State University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Financial Management where his team finished third at the 1994 NCAA Tournament.

Baxter advanced to the five Final Fours on the AVP Tour from 2003 to 2005 with four different partners. During that span, no other player had made it to the semifinals with as many different partners. In 2005, he ranked eighth in both digs (629) and kills (1,152).Baxter has two sisters (Denise, older and Taylor, younger). He enjoys golf, working out, scuba, traveling, yoga, and anything else that is active or competitive. He spends part of his off season helping coach high school volleyball. "Bax" credits Karch Kiraly as his inspiration to pursue the professional beach game. The athletes he most looks up to are Kevin Garnett and Deion Sanders. If he weren't playing volleyball he would "probably be grinding it out on one of the Professional Golf Tours, hopefully it would be the PGA Tour."

The 17th Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival scheduled for 6-8 March 2009 at the PIC Volleyball Courts will include a Kids’ Clinic run by the pros on 5 March from 3-5pm and the Kids’ Marianas Cup on 14 March. The highly anticipated Exhibition Match among the US, Japan and Korean professionals is open to the public and will be held at PIC’s beach volleyball courts on Friday, 6 March 2009 starting at approximately 5pm.

The Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association (NMIVA) thanks all the sponsors for contributing to this worthwhile, international event. Sponsors include: Aon Insurance, Aqua Resort Club, Chong’s Corporation, Delta Management Corporation, Glooay Mai Thai Spa, Gregg Elliott Artworks, Hertz, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Island Apparel, IT&E, KSPN2, LISS, Marianas Eye Institute, Mariana Resort & Spa, Marianas Trekking, MVA, Microl Corporation, No Ka Oi, NWA, PDI, Pacific Eagle Enterprises, PIC Guam, PIC Saipan, PTC, Saipan Grand Hotel, Seafix Inc., Shell Marianas, Star Sands Plaza, Stars & Stripes, Law Offices of Stephen J. Nutting, Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, Topnotch, Traders Insurance, Triple J Wholesale, WDI Saipan (Tony Roma’s & Capricciosa’s).