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    Trevor Crabb, Theo Brunner win Hermosa Beach men’s title
    • July 9, 2023

    HERMOSA BEACH — The AVP 2023 Hermosa Beach Men’s Pro Open championship match on Sunday saw a familiar matchup as Trevor Crabb and partner Theo Brunner faced off against Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander for the second time this tournament.

    Trevor Crabb and Brunner came out on top, winning 2-1 (19-21, 21-13, 15-10) to take the crown.

    Trevor Crabb converted 20 kills on 30 attack attempts. Brunner recorded a game-high eight blocks while also having 13 kills.

    Brunner won his third Hermosa Beach Open championship, Trevor Crabb his first. Trevor Crabb is now 13-10 all time in matches against his brother — winning the last five — and holds a 2-1 lead in championship matches involving the two Long Beach State products.

    “It’s always an extra tough battle playing against (Taylor Crabb), and then when you add the finals on top of that, it’s even more pressure,” Trevor Crabb said. “The atmosphere is way better for everyone in the championship.

    “I’m sure (Taylor Crabb) is pretty bummed right now, but there’s obviously more tournaments to come for him.”

    The two teams had some familiarity going into Sunday’s championship showdown as they played each other in the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday, when Trevor Crabb and Brunner won 2-1(17-21, 21-15, 15-11) to advance to the semifinals.

    Brunner and Trevor Crabb defeated Billy Allen and Alison Cerutti 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in the semis.

    Taylor Crabb and Sander were relegated to the contender’s bracket after losing in the quarterfinals against Trevor Crabb and Brunner on Saturday, but they were able to jump back into the winner’s bracket after defeating Miles Evans and Chase Buddinger 2-1 (14-21, 21-17, 15-10) on Sunday morning.

    In the semis, Taylor Crabb and Sander defeated Tri Bourne and 2022 Hermosa Beach Pro Open champion Chaim Schalk 2-1 (17-21, 22-20, 15-12) to set up a rematch with Trevor Crabb and Brunner.

    The championship match started similarly to the quarterfinals matchup, with Taylor Crabb and Sander winning 21-19. Taylor Crabb converted 14 kills on 22 attacks, leading to a set win.

    Trevor Crabb and Brunner found their groove in the second set. It went back and forth, but Brunner and Trevor Crabb went on a 10-5 run after leading 11-8 to knot the series at one apiece.

    In the decisive third set, Brunner’s defense gave his team an early lead. The former UC Santa Barbara middle blocker recorded five blocks in the team’s first 10 points which stifled the opposition’s offense.

    The final set was never in doubt as Trevor Crabb and Brunner had a lead as big as six points. The duo cruised in the last set to a 15-10 victory.

    Trevor Crabb said that the quarterfinals matchup against Taylor Crabb and Sander helped the duo figure out a way to win on Sunday.

    “(The adjustments) were the same as yesterday, just cleaning up our side of the net,” Trevor Crabb said. “I was shanking some easy digs, those easy balls that we should score on, and I was able to clean it up in the second and third.”

    Brunner has never lost when he has entered the Hermosa Beach Pro Open.

    When asked if he is the King of Hermosa Beach, Brunner said, “I mean, I usually leave that call to Trevor, but I mean, there could be an argument for that name at this point.”

    Trevor Crabb and Brunner asserted their dominance throughout their tournament run. They swept every opponent except Taylor Crabb and Sander in both of their matchups.

    “You can’t really take plays off against these teams,” Trevor Crabb said about the competition in the tournament. “You have to play at a high level if you want to win these tournaments.”

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    ​ Orange County Register