Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner win the AVP Hermosa Beach Open men’s title

Theo Brunner and Trevor Crabb celebrate a win over Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander at the Hermosa Beach Open.
Theo Brunner and Trevor Crabb celebrate a win over Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander at the Hermosa Beach Open.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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The sun beat down on a full stadium at the AVP Hermosa Beach Open as Hawaiian brothers Taylor and Trevor Crabb battled for the men’s title Sunday afternoon.

Second-seeded Trevor Crabb and partner Theo Brunner prevailed over Taylor Crabb and partner Taylor Sander, who were seeded third, in three games, 19-21, 21-13, 15-10.

Taylor and Trevor have competed against each other before, with the results split somewhat evenly, but Sunday was the elder Crabb’s turn to triumph. At 6 feet 8 and 6-5, respectively, Crabb and Brunner hit their stride in the second set by imposing unbreakable blocks.

Taylor, who was the shortest player in the final match at 6-foot, and 6-4 Sander sent the ball to open spots in the hot sand early as if part of a calculated missile launch, but in the end they struggled to get over or around the imposing blocks of the eventual champions.


Brunner won this tournament last year alongside Olympian Chaim Schalk of Canada. Brunner has two world championship appearances, placing fourth in 2015 and 17th in 2019. Crabb placed fourth at the 2019 world championships alongside Olympian Tri Bourne.

“We train here every single day,” Brunner said about getting to compete on local sand. “So these are our conditions, this is our sand, this is our wind, so to be able to play and compete at the high level like we train every day of every year … is awesome.”

Taylor Crabb dives for a save during a match at the AVP Hermosa Beach Open.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

This is the second consecutive year that the AVP has returned to Hermosa Beach, after a two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The junior national championships ran concurrently this year, providing teenagers a unique opportunity to show what they can do, and watch the professionals.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Wood and incoming USC freshman Ashley Pater competed in both tournaments at the same time. Each day, they’d play junior national matches against each other and then team up as the 15th-seeded team in the AVP tournament.

Wood scored a total of 301 points across both tournaments, according to Pater, and ultimately won the 18U division of juniors while Pater’s team took second place. They went from players to spectators after losing their AVP match Saturday morning, giving them a chance to step back and root for their favorite players.


“We literally haven’t gotten to watch anything yesterday because we’ve been in the juniors,” Pater said with a laugh, “But …”

“I’m gonna try and watch Tri Bourne a lot because I love how he plays,” Wood said quickly.

“I love [Taylor] Crabb, so I will definitely watch him,” Wood said, “And then just watching all the girls, to see all the high-level athletes. I’m excited to see who makes the final.”

Later Sunday afternoon, sixth-seeded Corinne Quiggle, who played at Pepperdine, and Sarah Schermerhorn, the 2019 AVP rookie of the year, won the Hermosa Beach Open women’s title. They won the match swiftly in two sets, 21-15, 21-16, over 13th-seeded Megan Rice and Savvy Simo.

Megan Rice blocks a spike attempt by Sarah Schermerhorn during the women's final of the AVP Hermosa Beach Open.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Quiggle and Schermerhorn have been playing together for more than a year-and-a-half, training every day at Hermosa Beach. Rice and Simo are a much more recent duo, which made for an interesting contrast.

“The U.S. has amazing players so it’s really special to be an AVP champion that goes down with lists of legends, so we’re really excited to take this one at our home beach,” Quiggle said.


They shouted out other players, such as Pater and Wood, although not by name.

“And the juniors tournament right next door. That’s awesome,” Quiggle added. “There’s so much talent over there too and it’s great to see them coming through the ranks. There’s a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old playing this [AVP] tournament as well … they’re an unbelievable talent just all the way through.”

Throughout the tournament, people milled about in dense crowds around the stadium — families, former volleyball players who train at Hermosa Beach, locals and tourists — craning to watch the courts. At times, the stadium seats reached capacity and people had to wait for general admission seats.

Corinne Quiggle kicks up sand after missing a diving attempt for a save at the AVP Hermosa Beach Open.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Saturday afternoon was one of those times, so a weekend warrior named Ruth sat in the sand outside the stadium watching the livestream projected on the side of the stands. Her short silver hair poked out from beneath a blue baseball cap.

“It’s not just exercise. It’s not just a sport. It’s a whole lifestyle,” she said in a kind and matter-of-fact voice. “Especially living here.”

Ruth said she has been playing beach volleyball since she moved to Hermosa Beach in 2005 and said she would be playing tomorrow if it weren’t for her eye surgery.


As crowds continued to trickle through the courtsides, Ruth remained seated in the sand with her arms draped over her knees, captivated by the athletic feats on the big screen.