Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos are the hot team on the beach volleyball circuit this summer, but defending world champions Mike Dodd and Tim Hovland will be on their home turf to defend their title this weekend in the Hermosa Beach Open.
Dodd and Hovland, world champions on the pro beach tour in 1983 and 1985, finished second to Smith and Stoklos last weekend in Boulder, Colo. Dodd, a Manhattan Beach resident, and Hovland, of Playa del Rey, are defending titlists in the Hermosa Open, which begins Saturday morning and runs through Sunday at Hermosa Pier. Sunday's championship will begin about 3 p.m.
Smith and Stoklos have won 8 of 10 tournaments on the 18-stop tour this season. But don't count out their South Bay competition.
Dodd, 29, and Hovland, 27, are among the few players in the United States able to make a living solely off volleyball. Dodd, a former star at San Diego State and a U. S. national team member, had record earnings last year of about $32,000.
In the winter Dodd plays for a professional team in Italy. Hovland was an All-American hitter at USC and also plays winter volleyball in Italy and earned about $23,000 last year.