Trevor Crabb and Reid Priddy had no experience as teammates prior to pairing up for the Manhattan Beach Open this weekend.
But from the way the pair performed at the most famous beach volleyball tournament in the world, it appeared as though they’d spent their careers on the same side of the net.
On Sunday, Crabb and Priddy, who came in as No. 4 seeds, swept No. 2 seeds Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger 21-15 and 21-19 to walk off the sand as the Manhattan Beach champions.
The victory represents the first in an AVP event for both players, who joined forces after Crabb’s regular teammate, Tri Bourne, got injured after the Hermosa Beach Open, and Priddy came in as a late fill in.
“We knew coming into this that our main goal was to just to come out, compete have fun and play hard,” Crabb said. “We knew everything wasn’t going to mesh right away.”
Crabb and Priddy had to do it the hard way, fighting their way out of the losers’ bracket and having to win three matches in one day, knocking off the top three seeds in the process.
The pair started the morning with a 21-15, 17-21, 15-13 victory over No. 3 seeds Tim Bomgren and Troy Field.
The victory put them into a semifinal, where they had to face No. 1 seeds Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, one of the most decorated beach volleyball teams in the world.
Crabb and Priddy swept the top seeds, 21-12 and 23-21 to advance to the finals.
“After that first match, I wasn’t sure how much I had left in the tank,” Crabb said. “I had some kind of a second wind there in the second match and everything came back together.”
Patterson and Budinger, who were coming off a first place finish at Hermosa Beach, defeated No. 26 Bill Kolinske and Eric Beranek to advance to the finals.
“No one knew how to scout them out because they are new,” Patterson said of Crabb and Priddy. “It was Reid’s serve and them getting the bang-bang plays. They scrambled well. That is what Trevor has always been known for.”
The Manhattan Beach Open was an AVP Gold Series event, with increased prize money of $300,000 ($150,000 each for men and women) up for grabs.
Both first place teams took home $30,000 – $15,000 for each player.
“This is the tournament everyone wants to win,” Crabb said. “I think it's the greatest beach volleyball event ever. To have our names on the pier forever … There is nothing like it. I’m super stoked.”