Neon and retro-cladded fans flock to the sand and pier from the early morning until evening to catch the action
Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2013) – Crowds blanketed the beach and lined the Manhattan Beach Pier in the early morning to watch Olympians and AVP stars bring their best game on the second day of the Manhattan Beach Open. The second stop of the 2013 AVP Tour drew large crowds continuously throughout the day as a sea of neon and Sideout-cladded fans were able to witness the best of the best in action from the sand and the top of the pier, just as they would back in the day. The top-seeded teams on both the men’s and women’s sides advanced to the final day of competition tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 25, with their sights set on becoming the next permanent fixture on the Manhattan Beach Pier’s Volleyball Walk of Fame and earning a piece of the $200,000 prize purse.
The day kicked off with two high-energy matches between No. 1 seed Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal against the No. 32 seed brothers out of Honolulu, Hawaii - Taylor and Trevor Crabb, on Center Court, while crowds gathered to watch three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings and two-time Manhattan Beach Open champ Whitney Pavlik on Court 1 as they defeated opponents Joy Akins (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Jami Gregory (San Jose, Calif.). Cheers erupted down the coast with every sideout, kill and ace were met with enthusiasm and passion.
“The Manhattan Beach Open is the oldest running tournament. It has the bigger draw, we have all the great names in beach volleyball competing here and you get your name immortalized on the pier if you win,” said Walsh-Jennings. “This is my first experience with the old school vibe and I like it! There is so much love in the South Bay and I love the community feel - I feel like I know every person here.”
Taylor and Trevor Crabb, although defeated by the Olympians put up a respectable fight as they took the first match from Dalhausser and Rosenthal, impressing even Rosie’s R8drs (a group of Sean Rosenthal fans from the South Bay) who are well-known for their vocal heckling and spirited cheers. Both teams played passionately, the competition was good-natured and entertaining, and strategic plays kept the crowd on the edge of their seat, including when the 23-year-old Trevor successfully punched a hit through the outstretched hands of six-foot-nine Dalhausser at one point in the match.
“I was nervous seeing Sean and Phil across the court from us. I have only seen them on TV but it was a great experience to play against them. I really didn’t expect to win a game,” said the 21-year-old Taylor.
"There is nothing like playing in front of my hometown crowd. The Manhattan Beach Open is a really special tournament and something that I look forward to every year, but I am really digging the old school vibe and community feel on the sand this year,” said Rosenthal. “Watching the fans and passer-byers spill over the pier railings looks just like the old photos I've seen from the days of Sinjin, Hov and Dodd, and so many others who I looked up to growing up."
The final day of the Manhattan Beach Open will begin tomorrow, Aug. 25 at 8:45 a.m. with the final rounds of the Main Draw, the Legends 4’s competition presented by Whole Foods Market at 1:30 p.m. followed by the Women’s Final at 3 p.m. and concluding with the Men’s Final at 4 p.m. The Legends 4’s is new to this year’s competition and will feature beach volleyball greats Sinjin Smith, Tim Hovland and Mira Costa High School alumni Eric Fonoimoana and Mike Dodd against top seeded to-be-announced Manhattan Beach Open competitors. Fans are encouraged to sport visors, neon and fashion from the past to cheer on the mixing of the older and newer generations of beach volleyball from your beach chairs on the sand.