AVP Huntington Beach

The Boys of Beach Volleyball Are Back

p1440 Huntington Beach

In the semifinals of the mens’ side of AVP Huntington Beach, we saw some incredible new talent and brothers square off against one another in an always-fun Battle of the Crabbs.

Semifinal one had the new faces of seventh-ranked Tim Bomgren and Troy Field, who were playing in their first semifinal together, taking on sixth-ranked and 39 years young, Casey Patterson and former NBA standout, Chase Budinger. Bomgren/Field put out a great effort against Patterson/Budinger, but the high-flying Budinger constantly created shock-and-awe moments with thunderous blasts and monster blocking. The ever-flashy Patterson made some great defensive plays, but what will stick out most was when Patterson served up an ace to make it 17-13 in the first set. He celebrated by doing what the fans love to see in Patterson — his “Pop and Lock” hand-wrist-elbow-shoulder movement indicating the remote control effect of his previously served ace! Even with the efforts by Bomgren/Field, Budinger/Patterson emerged victorious in straight sets, 21-16, 21-19.

Semifinal two was a rematch of the winner’s bracket match between Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb and Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb, in which Gibb and Crabb lost, forcing them to fight through the Contender’s Bracket to advance to the Semifinal. In the first set, the teams exchanged blows until Gibb went on a 4-point scoring run that involved a sweet roll shot, two aces and a swat-block. Taylor and Jake would take the first set easily 21-14. In the second set, controversy erupted late when replay of a ball hit by Taylor off the block fell out of bounds as shown by the replay, however the referee opted to rule that it was in bounds. The second set would go to Bourne and Crabb, 21-18, forcing a third set tie-break.

As would be expected, the teams were fired up and the teams were staying neck-and-neck until Gibb served up an ace to make it 14-11, then Crabb would close it out with a transition kill for the win, 15-11, and the 2-1 win to advance to the Finals.

The Finals were set.

#1 Gibb/Crabb vs. #6 Patterson/Budinger. It was a match of athleticism, physicality and sheer giftedness. Budinger and Gibb were clamping down on attackers and getting beach-thumping swings to please the crowd. On the defensive end Crabb and Patterson were flying all over the back-line, angles or diving out of play to save balls and extend rallies — and all showed in the first set score to Gibb/Crabb 27-25.

After that first set in the final, Patterson/Budinger couldn’t recover to put up as strong as a battle in the previous set. Gibb and Crabb were incredible off transition and were offensively blasting around the block of Budinger. Their efforts rewarded them as they took the second and the match, 21-14.