HERMOSA BEACH, approx. “Trevor Crabb no longer makes guarantees. After an impulsive and ill-planned guarantee before the 2022 Gold Series in Atlanta – which followed, of course, a third straight guarantee that came true with a victory in Fort Lauderdale – Crabb pulled out of the guarantee game. Looking ahead to this weekend’s AVP Hermosa Beach Open, however, he offered a prediction, which is sort of the politically correct version of a guarantee.
“I predict a Crabb vs. Crabb final,” he wrote on social media, a post that was rightly followed by a pair of videos produced by the McKibbin Brothers calling him a beach volleyball villain.
Every sport has its villain, its foil. How many have a villain with the disturbing prescience of Trevor Crabb? Eleven days after Crabb predicted a final for the whole family, the beach volleyball world was treated to just that, as Crabb and Theo Brunner met Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander in front of a crowded stadium pitch whose line to enter meandered down to Hermosa Beach.
As usual, Crabb’s feast delivered, as Crabb and Brunner won, 19-21, 21-13, 15-10 in an excellent final.
The win was significant for a number of reasons.
Brunner has now won three consecutive Hermosa Beach Opens he has played in, dating back to 2018 when he and John Hyden beat Billy Allen and Ryan Doherty in a terrific final. He skipped 2019 to play the Vienna Major, and it would be Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson who took the win in his absence. Last year, however, he and Chaim Schalk won their first and only team AVP in Hermosa, knocking out – guess who? —Taylor Crabb and Sander. A season later, Hermosa would again prove to be the ground on which Brunner won his first event with a new partner.
“We live in Redondo Beach and we train here every day, so these are our conditions, this is our sand, this is our wind,” Brunner said. “To be able to play and compete at the top level, like we’ve been training every day of every year for ten years, is great.”
Brunner was playing, statistically, at the highest possible level. He led the tournament in hitting percentage (.633) by nearly 14 percentage points, was second in blocks per set (2.57), and had just 2 errors in 49 attacking attempts. It was his block, which was unusually quiet throughout the tournament, that transformed the final.
Crabb and Sander sailed well in Brunner’s block in the 21-19 first-set win, hitting .536 as a team while only getting blocked once.
“I’m telling you what happened,” Brunner said. “I guessed wrong every time in the first set, then I started guessing right in the second and third sets.”
Trevor Crabb was not amused by his partner’s notorious self-deprecating tendency. He knows the guesswork has nothing to do with what happened next: two blocks and a pair of soft blocks in the second set, five more trick blocks in the third. Crabb and Sander’s hitting percentage went from .536 to .250 to .125 as Brunner adjusted and the Taylors failed to readapt.
“I think he had a good read on little brother,” Trevor Crabb said. “He took control of the game, all I had to do was keep the team at a good number and I think I did that.”
Indeed, Trevor Crabb led all players with a .600 hitting percentage in the final, killing 20 of 30 balls with just two errors.
It was, as the results indicate, Crabb and Brunner’s best performance of the entire year. They only lost two sets all weekend, both to Crabb and Sander, once in the quarterfinals and the other in the final. It’s a type of performance they will need to maintain, as Hermosa is just the start of a series of crowded tournaments for every player aspiring to qualify for the Olympics.
Crabb and Brunner, as well as Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk – who finished third – Taylor Crabb and Sander, Miles Evans and Chase Budinger – who finished fifth – Troy Field and Evan Cory – who finished ninth – and Tim Brewster and Kyle Friend – who also finished ninth – will board a flight to Portugal tonight, bound for next weekend’s Espinho Challenge.
Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn win their first AVP title at Hermosa Beach
While Trevor Crabb should be given significant credit for correctly predicting – again – the men’s final game, even the most prescient of forecasters could not have foreseen the anarchy that occurred in the women’s realm. While the four best teams competed in the Gstaad Elite16, parity was the watchword of the weekend among women.
Chaos ensued predictably. The 16th seed, Jaden Whitmarsh and Devon Newberry, won the first start against seeds Kelley Kolinske and Hailey Harward. While Harvard and Kolinske would eventually win, the tone for the weekend was set. In that first round alone, 12 seed Macy Jerger and Megan Rice beat all five, 13 seed Savvy Simo and Megan Rice knocked out all four, and 14 seed Carly Kan and Lexy Denaburg nearly knocked down all three to Zana Muno. and Deahna Kraft.
Hermosa was never expected to be a chalk walk on the women’s side. But the mess that ensued over the weekend was wilder than anyone could have predicted, resulting in a semi-final that featured 13s against 14s and sevens against sixes.
Through it all, Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn emerged unscathed, dropping just two sets en route to their first victory as a team and as individuals in one of the craziest AVP tournaments in recent memory.
When all was said and done, and all 29 games had been played, there was a total of 16 upsets on paper, including Kan and Denaburg, on the 14th, beating 11, 1, 10 and 2, all straight. ; Newberry and Whitmarsh on the 16th, beating the 8th and 3rd; Katie Horton and Brook Bauer, 9, beating 8 and 1; and, most surprisingly of all, Savvy Simo and Megan Rice, the 13 thrown together at random after Toni Rodriguez retired with a knee injury, stunning 4, 12 and 9 to make the semis, where they stood. would meet, of all teams, Kan and 14th seed Denaburg.
In the end, it seems, the team chemistry prevailed. Schermerhorn and Quiggle have played in more team tournaments than any other pair on the court. Rice was playing in the first main draw of her career, having lost in qualifying in New Orleans, Huntington Beach and Denver. She and Simo had never walked on land together. (Note: Rodriguez is fine; she was cautious with Espinho’s Challenge this weekend and opted to rest instead of pushing him)
The honeymoon effect can only prolong a team’s run thus far, and Quiggle and Schermerhorn put on a convincing display in the final, winning 21-15, 21-16.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Quiggle said. “One against one in the final. I’m just super excited to be here on the beach where we train every day. We feel like at home here.
“It’s really good,” added Schermerhorn. “I’m really happy to have done this with Corinne. It’s not free. »
It is worth noting that they did it together. This year has not been kind to Quiggle and Schermerhorn. They lost in three Challenge qualifiers in three attempts, seeing their entry points disappear, to the point that just entering an event is difficult. They have lost back-to-back games at Huntington Beach and were expected to advance to the Atlanta Gold Series via a semifinal at last weekend’s Denver Tour Series.
Hermosa was the right result at the right time – a time when some teams would consider parting ways. They’ve remained a team through it all, and the payoff is huge: a win at one of beach volleyball’s hottest spots, $14,000 to split, and intangible morale when it’s needed most. .
“It really is a partnership marriage,” Schermerhorn said. “I live in Florida, my husband is in Florida so it can be emotionally difficult to be here, but Corinne and her family have been so supportive. We are just proud to be part of this environment, of the volleyball culture here, and to be able to play against very good players.
Like the men, a cavalcade of women are also heading to LAX, boarding flights to Portugal, including Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles, Simo and Rodriguez, Emily Stockman and Megan Kraft, Horton and Bauer, and Kraft and Muno.