Taylor Crabb of Redondo Beach and Alix Klineman of Manhattan Beach reached the men’s and women’s final at the AVP Hawaii Open in Honolulu last Sunday.
Crabb was victorious in his home state where he grew up while Klineman finished second.
It was great season for both players in the AVP Tour finale that will now take a break and resume with Olympic berths on the line when the new season resumes in 2020.
For Crabb and partner Jake Gibb of Huntington Beach, it was a tour-leading fourth title. They defeated Theo Brunner of Connecticut and John Hyden of San Diego,l 18-21, 22-20, 17-15.
It was big win for Crabb in his hometown of Honolulu. He attended Punahou High School.
"It's all I wanted,” Crabb said after winning. “Either my brother (Trevor Crabb), Tri or myself to win it. The fans here were so great to us all weekend. We have two more international tournaments to end the year."
Crabb and Gibb were seeded No. 2 for the tournament.
With the score tied 15-15 in the third set, Crabb hit the ball to the back of the court for a 16-15 lead. Brunner hit the ball into the net on the next play to seal the win for the pair.
“I had nothing left, but you guys kept us going so thank you guys so much,” Crabb said. “We wouldn’t have won without the freeze...The fans have been so great to us all weekend and really pushed us through.”
Gibb went on to thank AVP owner Donald Sun.
“Something we don’t get to do very often is thank the man who makes all of this happen for us, and that’s Donald Sun... He deserves a great round of applause.”
Sun looks to make Hawaii a permanent stop on the tour.
“We can’t thank the people of Hawaii and fans enough for helping us conclude the 2019 AVP season in epic fashion here on the Fort DeRussy beachfront. Exceptional beach volleyball and engaged crowds helped us see record attendance this weekend,” said Sun.
In the semifinals, Crabb and Gibb defeated No. 4 Jeremy Casebeer of Santa Barbara and Chaim Schalk of Alberta, Canada 17-21, 21-17, 17-15.
Brunner and Hyden, who were seeded No. 12, were able to get all the way to the final by defeating the No. 3 team of Chase Budinger of Hermosa Beach and Casey Patterson of Thousand Oaks 25-23, 21-18.
Klineman finished her third straight season on the AVP Tour with many highlights and plenty of success. While she did not win in Manhattan Beach and in Hawaii, the team won three times in women’s events, the most on tour.
Internationally, Klineman and Ross are ranked right near the top and will continue to hone their game as the Olympics near.
Right now, their main competition is Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto and Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Klineman and Pavan are equal in height and two of the top blockers in the women’s game.
In this tournament, Klineman and Ross were seeded No. 1 and Humana-Paredes and Pavan were seeded No. 3.
A rally by Humana-Paredes and Pavan ended the first set 21-19.
In the second set, the majority of the action took place with Pavan versus Klineman at the net.
Pavan closed it out 21-17 with block for her team’s second AVP title this year.
“This is amazing, Waikiki!” said Humana-Paredes. “This is the best way we could finish. We’re so happy we could do it here in Hawaii, one of our favorite places.”
“We always know it’s going to be a battle, we always know it’s going to go right down to the wire,” Pavan said. “We love the intensity, and we love competing against the best teams in the world, so we are very lucky that we get to compete against them.”
In the semifinals, Klineman and Ross defeated No. 2 seeded Emily Day of Hermosa Beach and Betsi Flint of Westchester 16-21, 21-16, 15-11.
Klineman had a strong third set at the net that helped their team to the victory and sent them to their 10th AVP final together.
In the other semifinal, Humana-Paredes and Pavan defeated the No. 4 seeded team of Kelly Claes of Placentia and Sarah Sponcil of Phoenix 21-19, 21-17.