For the 63rd year in a row, Laguna Beach played host to the biggest event on the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) schedule, the Laguna Beach Open.
As always, it attracted Olympians and AVP Tour champions, main-draw regulars and legends of years past. After two days, navigating a field of 33 teams, playing in front of a crowd well more than 1,000, two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal and Trevor Crabb beat Eric Zaun and Ed Ratledge in three sets to win the tournament.
Mike Brunsting hit a skyball.
It was innocuous, totally meaningless, and also entirely ineffective. It was hardly any higher than a loopy jump serve, so comically futile that his own fans cracked, “We’ll work on that one, Mike.”
Nobody will remember that skyball, yet it also spoke volumes to the atmosphere of the Laguna Beach Open.
Here was Brunsting, in the middle of a tight second set in the quarterfinals against Mike Boag and Mark Burik, hitting a serve he would otherwise never hit. Here was Burik, an ultra-competitor, joking along, chanting “sky-ball, sky-ball” when Frishman approached to serve a few moments later.
There’s something ineluctably fun about watching professional athletes just have plain old … fun.
If anybody is interested in watching me lose, here’s Ty Tramblie and Avery Drost and Raffe Paulis and Robbie Page taking me down in three sets each: