Ideal conditions brought out larger than expected crowds to Main Beach last Sunday, June 7, for the 60th Laguna Men’s Open, to watch number four seeds Will Montgomery of San Diego and Ed Ratledge of Huntington Beach battle third seeds Trevor Crabb of Hermosa Beach and Ty Tramblie of Newport Beach in a three-set thriller to capture the 2015 title of the world’s longest, continuously-running volleyball tournament.
Kirk Morgan took over as tournament director in 2012 with a goal of returning
the long-running event to its former glory, when thousands packed the sand and boardwalk to watch some of the best beach volleyball players in the world do battle.
His efforts are beginning to pay off, as 42 of the 64 players entered had the highest (AAA) California Beach Volleyball Association rankings. It was “one of the deepest pools of talent since the big money days of the AVP,” said Morgan, referring to more prestigious Association of Volleyball Professionals.
Crabb and Tramblie scored a decisive 21-11 win in the first game. But Ratledge, the former all time kills leader at UCLA, and Montgomery, who won the 2013 Open with Tri Bourne, rallied to win the next two 21-17 and 15-10, holding off a couple of furious comeback attempts to take home the top prize of $2,500 from a total purse of $4,500. Crabb and Tramblie took home $500 each for second.
Number one seeds Travis Schoonover of Venice Beach and Andrew Russell of Los Angeles, and 16th seeded Taylor Crabb of Honolulu and Spencer McLachlin of Hermosa Beach shared $1,000 in third-place prize money.
For complete tournament results, visit www.cbva.com.