Manhattan Beach Open honors its champions

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — It’s commonly referred to as “The Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball” and “The Granddaddy of Them All,” and during a ceremony Thursday to honor the tournament’s 2021 champions, it was easy to see just how meaningful the AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open is in the world of beach volleyball. 

The reigning champions were feted with the unveiling of their plaques on the Manhattan Beach Pier’s Walk of Fame during a ceremony to kick off the 2022 Manhattan Beach Open. Olympic gold medalists April Ross and Alix Klineman, along with Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, will now have their names etched on the pier next to many of the sport’s all-time great players. 

April Ross and Alix Klineman celebrated the unveiling of their plaques on the Manhattan Beach Pier Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022 (Credit AVP)

The AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open is being played just south of the Manhattan Beach Pier (100 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266) from Thursday through Sunday, as beach volleyball’s best athletes compete for a $300,000 prize purse, tied for the highest total payout this season. 

General admission tickets are FREE every day, with the option to purchase premium seating tickets for Club AVP, The Deck, Premium Club AVP, private cabanas and courtside VIP boxes, all ranging in price. Tickets are available at www.AVP.com.  

Klineman and Ross experienced a magical summer in 2021, as they won the Manhattan Beach Open just 16 days after capturing Olympic gold medals in Tokyo.  

“I’ve played in the Manhattan Beach Open since 2006, and it was a very elusive tournament for me – everyone brings their ‘A Game,’ and everybody really wants to win,” Ross said. “It speaks to how tough the competition is and how big a tournament this really is. I’ll never forget the look on Alix’s face when we first won here in 2018 – it was like the biggest thing in her life.” 

Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne celebrated the unveiling of their plaques on the Manhattan Beach Pier on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. (Credit AVP)

For Klineman and Ross, the plaque marked their second as partners, as they also teamed up to win the 2018 Manhattan Beach Open. Ross now has her name on the pier four times, having also won with Kerri Walsh Jennings in 2014 and with Jennifer Fopma in 2015.  

“It’s such a special thing to win here,” said Klineman, a Manhattan Beach native and Mira Costa High School graduate. “Being from Manhattan Beach, it was even more special to me.” 

Crabb won the 2019 Manhattan Beach Open with Reid Priddy, while Bourne saw his name etched on the pier for the first time. Bourne got emotional when talking about what it meant to him. 

“It is the biggest thing as an American beach volleyball player,” Bourne said. “I remember coming here as a kid and walking on the pier and being like ‘Wow, these are the legends of the game.’ You see Stein Metzger’s name and some of the other Hawaiian guys, and wow, I guess it just means a lot.” 

Added Bourne: “We plan on getting another one this weekend!” 

The defending women’s Manhattan Beach Open champions will not have a chance to repeat, as both Ross and Klineman are recovering from injuries. Bourne and Crabb, however, will give it their best shot to earn a second consecutive plaque. The pair won the AVP Pro Series Ft. Lauderdale Open three weeks ago and enter Manhattan seeded second in a field of 32 men’s teams. 

Featured Image Caption: Trevor Crabb, Tri Bourne, April Ross and Alix Klineman celebrated the unveiling of their plaques on the Manhattan Beach Pier on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. (Credit AVP)

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