p1440: Kacey Losik, Logan Webber

p1440 Developmental Program: Kacey Losik, Logan Webber

It’s the finals of the second p1440 Developmental Program Instrasquad Tournament. On one side of the net is Chris Austin, a 27-year-old National Champion out of UCI, and Kris Johnson, a 28-year-old, 6-foot-11 blocker who played on the United States National Team. On the other side of the net is 28-year-old Travis Mewhirter, a Marylander who made a pair of AVP main draws, took a silver in a NORCECA in the Caribbean and finished fifth in p1440 Huntington Beach.

And then there’s the most experienced beach volleyball player in the match, a Santa Cruz native named Kacey Losik.

You’d have never been able to guess that he is the youngest on the court by a decade.

Losik is one of the outliers when it comes to beach volleyball, in the sense that he was raised playing beach volleyball. The first time he picked up a ball, he was 5 years old. He began playing club indoors at 9.

“I have two older brothers and my dad played so we had a perfect four and we could play anytime we wanted to,” said Losik, who won the p1440 Developmental Tournament that Friday.

It’s a far cry from Logan Webber, his partner in the p1440 Developmental Program, a 6-foot-7 23-year-old out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a town where, as Webber says, “you’re a guy and say you want to play volleyball full time, it’s not a normal thing for anybody from Michigan. I just moved out here four or five months ago so I’m trying to find that feeling like I belong.”

Both are finding their place quickly in the Southern California beach volleyball bubble. Losik’s lone main draw in 2018 came during the first AVP of the season, in Huntington Beach. He and partner Garrett Wilson emerged from the qualifier to play future world No. 1 Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, losing in two. And then they nearly stunned the Mexican Olympic team of Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen, dropping the third set 13-15 after winning the first, 21-15.

“I think about that a lot,” Losik said.

Webber, too, has challenged Olympians. His first career main draw came in that same tournament, where in the first round he matched up with Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb and Canadian No. 1 Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton.

“Tournaments like Huntington really help me find that feeling of belonging,” Webber said. “For me, it’s just learning this summer how to be a professional and learning what to do once you do make main draw. Obviously in Huntington it was ‘Yeah, we made it! Now what do we do with that?’

“I think that takes a main draw or two to get to the point where we made it in and now that’s not the final goal anymore. The goal is to compete in main draws and do a little bit of damage.”

The goals for both this season are aligned, focusing not just on making main draws, but pushing it further once they’re in.

“As a team?” Losik said. “I think me and Logan can win games in every main draw.”

Other Developmental Program teams:

Heather Friesen and Kristen Petrasic: No bad days

Chris Austin and Kris Johnson: The indoor powers with limitless upside

Lacey Fuller, Jessica McGuire: The Penn State libero meets the UCLA rower

Jay Panther, Cody Caldwell: The near-Olympic skier and the National Champ

Chloe Crappell, Carissa Whalen: Discovering community through beach volleyball

Travis Mewhirter, Myles Muagututia: The smoothest athlete on the beach

Madison Willis, McKenna Thibodeau: Let your personality shine

Victoria Dennis, Nora Darrhar: A partnership grounded in gratitude

John Schwengel, Aidan Brown: The youngsters looking to make the leap

Tomas Salava, Martin Mach: Giving this beach thing a shot