The beach volleyball community has been rocked by the tragic death of 25-year-old pro player Eric Zaun.
Police responded to reports from the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on Thursday that a man had been found dead in the parking lot.
Detectives later identified the man as Zaun, saying he’d fallen from the 29th floor.
The Association of Volleyball Professionals confirmed Zaun’s death on Instagram.
“The AVP is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Eric Zaun,” the post reads.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.
“He will be deeply missed.”
Zaun was the AVP Rookie of the Year in 2017.
According to his AVP bio, Zaun played for Limestone College as an outside hitter before moving to Southern California to pursue a beach volleyball career.
Tributes pour in
“This is a huge loss for the entire volleyball community,” USA Volleyball CEO Jamie Davis said.
“Eric was a talented young beach player and stepped up this spring to play snow volleyball for the USS. He will be missed.”
Teammate Ed Ratledge also paid tribute.
“He was the most unique person I’ve ever known. He could light up any room with his smile and his laughter and attitude were infectious,” Ratledge said.
“It was a privilege to be his partner and to have him in my life, he brought out the best in me and I’ll miss him forever.”
Saw that we lost you today and this stopped me in my tracks. I got to play against the Quandomania legend growing up and have been following your rise on the beach scene since day one. Rest easy bud. #EricZaun #RoadDog pic.twitter.com/Oz6dP0aDTx— Robert Chilcoat (@RChilcoatVB) June 14, 2019
RIP Eric Zaun. You never know what people are going through, and you never know what someone is truly feeling regardless of what appears on the surface. So sad... pic.twitter.com/VroamQv7JR— Skylar Harrison (@SkylarHarrison2) June 13, 2019
I’m so devastated to hear the news of my friend and one hell of an athlete Eric Zaun. I saved this voicemail because it’s one of the best I’ve ever gotten and it just so happens to display his humor perfectly. I can’t believe you’re just gone now but I’ll remember you always. 💔 pic.twitter.com/MwXREJZbvZ— Ali Berens (@Coach_Berens) June 13, 2019
RIP Eric Zaun, I hope you finally found some peace.— Long Beck. (@Johnny_Boh_410) June 12, 2019
Feeling a bunch of emotions after all the Eric Zaun posts & news. He put South Jersey on the beach volleyball map.. Prayers to his friends, family & especially Quan & @QuandomaniaVB— RJ (@ItsRJbitch) June 13, 2019
Eric Zaun was the first person I became friends with when I started playing beach volleyball, it may have only been because he wanted my tank top but it still counts. A true legend you will be missed greatly— jacob brown (@JBBoyBandBrown) June 13, 2019
Little less than four years later, these words from one of my closest buds, Eric Zaun, ring true as ever.— Travis Mewhirter (@Travis_Mew) June 13, 2019
Doing what you love.
Learn from tragedy. Grow from it. Use it.
Love someone a little harder today, tomorrow and the next. pic.twitter.com/oWkBQrsyPd
Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.