More than 120 teams competed for bragging rights in the 50th anniversary International Surf Festival Charles Saikley Six Man Volleyball Tournament. The finals pitted the veteran Team Smack Magnum, winner of the past three years’ tournaments, against a young team of former Mira Costa and Redondo high players.
In keeping with the legacy of Charles Saikley, the tournament’s founder and director until his passing in 2005, the tournament was played under “old school” rules, with the larger court, side-out scoring and net serves counting as points for the opposing team.
“It’s his tournament,” said Jay Saikley, Charles’ son and current director. “I just took up the reigns and keep up what he [did]… You’ve got 50 years of the best players in the world.”
Pro volleyball and NBA basketball players competed alongside college level up-and-comers in the Men’s Open finals.
Team Trim Lords, a super group that included NBA lock-outs Kevin Love, Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton, Richard Jefferson, and David Lee advanced to Sunday’s play, where they defeated One Pack, but then lost to Plastic Chicken. In the loser’s bracket, the NBA giants were eliminated by Team Smack Magnum.
Magnum’s heavy hitters included USA setter and Pan American Games gold medalist Donald Suxho, USA Pan American silver medalist David McKienzie and 2009 Hermosa Open, and National Volleyball League founder Albert Hanneman. After an early loss sent them to the losers bracket, they advanced to the finals by defeating Chronic Tacos (including Houston Rockets forward Chad Budinger), Spyder/Res IPSA and Young & Reckless, who would finish third.
In the finals Team Smack Magnum met Simmzy’s/Beckers.
Simmzy’s/Beckers jumped out to an early lead and held on to win 15-9. The team of former Mira Costa and Redondo High players included Tommy Becker of Loyola Chicago, USC senior and Pan American gold medalist Austin Zahn, USA team member Carson Clark, and French national player Kevin Tillie, who will be attending UCLA in the fall.
“You know what, we all showed up for the best thing ever: the illustrious 4-peat,” said Magnum spokesman John Thompson. “The tournament’s amazing. Jay Saikley, the CBVA, they do an amazing job doing what they do here. But it’s bittersweet. You just can’t win every year.”
Simmzy’s players were also appreciative of the tournament organizers.
“I never played this tournament before,” said Tillie. “It’s an amazing tournament.”
In the Women’s Open finals, Team 900 took first, with Moonlight and Girls Gone Wild taking second and third respectively.
In the Men’s Master’s 40+ finals, Fonz’s took first against Good Stuff, with Old School Milano taking third place.