Local youth beach volleyball players end summer on high note
By Randy Angel
Many up-and-coming beach volleyball players capped off their summer seasons competing in the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) Youth Cal Cup in Manhattan Beach on Saturday.
Players qualified for the prestigious tournament by winning one of 12 tournaments throughout the summer at locations from San Diego to Santa Cruz.
Twenty three South Bay players finished in the top three of their respective divisions that included seven champions.
On the girls side, Manhattan Beach’s Natalie Myszkowski teamed with Sydnee Broadway (Phoenix, Ariz.) to capture the 14U crown. The two had faced each other in previous CBVA tournaments and in the finals of the AVPFirst tournament at the Hermosa Beach Open.
“Winning Cal Cup meant everything to me.,” Myszkowski said. “When you play as much as I do, there is a lot of losing because only one team wins at every tournament. Winning Cal Cup was something I dreamed of but never really expected to happen. After Sydnee won her bid, I’m thankful she chose me as her partner.”
Myszkowski is a member of the Endless Summer Volleyball Club that produced 3rd-place finisher Ava Guerra (Santa Monica) and the 5th-place team of Ella Dreibholz (Santa Monica) and Eden McCoy (Los Angeles) who Myszkowski and Broadway beat to begin her championship playoff run.
“It’s always a challenge to play against your teammates because everyone know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Myszkowski said. “I knew we would have to play our best to beat such a good team. The great thing about Endless Summer is while we all want to win, we are hanging out together and cheering each other on the entire day, even during playoffs when it’s possible your teammates just knocked you out of the tournament.”
Local players dominated the 12U division with Mele Faiva Corral-Blagojevich (Lawndale) and Finley Rollins (San Pedro) defeating the Manhattan Beach duo of Jaylen Clark and Carly Greskovics in the championship match. Drew Wright (Hermosa Beach) and London Wijay Northridge) finished third.
In the 16U division, the teams of Olivia Bakos (Manhattan Beach)/Peri Brennan (Laguna Beach) and Maya Harvey (Manhattan Beach)/Tessa Van Winkle (Coto De Caza) placed second and third, respectively.
In boys competition, South Bay athletes made a statement in the 14U division with Benjamin Coordt (Hermosa Beach) and Grant Strong (Clearwater, Fla.) besting Kyle Johnson (Manhattan Beach) and Camden Miner (Hermosa Beach) in the championship match. The Manhattan Beach duo of Max Gordon and Christian Penczar placed third.
Luke Turner (Hermosa Beach) and Miles Partain (Pacific Palisades) defeated Cruz Marin (Redondo Beach) and Aaron Phan (Manhattan Beach) for the 16U championship and in an all-South Bay title match for the 12U title, Nolan Kelly (El Segundo) and Jason Walmer (Manhattan Beach) defeated Sean Kelly (Manhattan Beach) and Parker Schloss (Manhattan Beach).
In the 18U competition, Timothy Brewster (Manhattan Beach) and Jason Gibbs (Bellaire, Tex.) finished second ahead of the third-place Manhattan Beach tandem of Bobby Barkley and Dane Johnson.
Complete results are available at cbva.com.
by Randy Angel