AVP Manhattan Beach Open Winners Triumph In the StormAug 20, 2023 08:16PM ● By Mb News Staff
Taylor Sander (left) and Taylor Crabb; and Julia Scoles (left) and Betsi Flint celebrate capturing their first AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open titles on Sunday. (Photo credit: AVP/Mpu Dinani)
The pairs of Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander, and Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles each captured their first AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open titles on Sunday in the midst of a tropical storm.
Sunday's unusual weather couldn't dampen the fighting spirit of top-seeded Flint and Scoles. The duo had a long battle through the contenders’ bracket after a first-round loss to 32nd-seeded Chloe Loreen/Natalie Robinson in their first match Friday, but they came all the way back in the double-elimination tournament to win the women’s final, 22-20, 21-13, over defending MBO champion Kelley Kolinske and Hailey Harward, who were seeded seventh.
The third time was the charm for Flint, who has had three consecutive Manhattan Beach Open championship appearances with three different partners, falling short the last two years.
(Julia Scoles soars high above the sand at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open. Note the stands filled with fans despite the rotten weather. Photo credit: AVP/Mpu Dinani.)
With rain coming down and atop soggy sand, Flint and Scoles played three matches in the span of five hours on Sunday, emerging unscathed in all three. The duo knocked out second-seeded Corinne Quiggle/Sarah Schermerhorn 21-19, 21-13, in a 7 a.m. contenders’ bracket quarterfinals match and upended eighth-seeded Deahna Kraft/Zana Muno 21-13, 21-11, in the semifinals before capping their clean sweep in the finals.
“The emotions are high and low all the time in this sport," said Scoles. "It’s really about trying to stay steady and not riding the highs too high and the lows too low. We know this is such a talented field, and anyone is capable of winning on any given day. We just have to continue to show up each game and try our best and hope for the right outcome. That is exactly what we did this weekend, and I am just so grateful to be here playing the sport I love.”
On the men's side, in a rematch of Saturday’s “Crabb Boil” that sent them into the contenders’ bracket, Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander got revenge on top-seeded Theo Brunner and Trevor Crabb by capturing the men’s title. Taylor Crabb will join his older brother Trevor, who won three consecutive MBO championships in 2019, 2021, and 2022, with a Manhattan Beach Open championship under his belt. With this win, the Crabb brothers will also make history as the first blood relatives with plaques on the pier.
Crabb and Sander closed out the competition strong with back-to-back straight set sweeps. In the semifinals, the duo overcame 10th-seeded Hagen Smith, son of beach volleyball legend Sinjin Smith, and Logan Webber 23-21, 21-15. With their 27-25, 21-16 men’s finals defeat over Brunner and Crabb, Taylor Crabb prevented his brother from achieving a four-peat.
“This is legendary," said Sander. "You’re not a legend unless you’re up on that pier, and we’re up there now. These fans are amazing. There’s a freaking hurricane, and they’re cheering in a packed stadium. This is our dream, and we’re living it.”
Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Open Results
Contenders’ bracket quarterfinals
(1) Betsi Flint/Julia Scoles def. (2) Corinne Quiggle/Sarah Schermerhorn, 21-19, 21-13
(7) Hailey Harward/Kelley Kolinske def. (4) Toni Rodriguez/Savvy Simo, 21-18, 21-16
(1) Betsi Flint/Julia Scoles def. (8) Deahna Kraft/Zana Muno, 21-13, 21-11
(7) Hailey Harward/Kelley Kolinske def. (3) Megan Kraft/Emily Stockman, 21-17, 13-21, 18-16
(1) Betsi Flint/Julia Scoles def. (7) Hailey Harward/Kelley Kolinske, 22-20, 21-13
(1) Theo Brunner/Trevor Crabb def. (12) Cody Caldwell/Seain Cook, 21-15, 21-6 (4)
Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander def. (10) Hagen Smith/Logan Webber, 23-21, 21-15
(4) Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander def. (1) Theo Brunner/Trevor Crabb, 27-25, 21-16