Youth spikers take over East Beach courts

The Tuesday California Beach Volleyball Association tournaments at East Beach started with a bang as 78 boys and girls teams, including teams from Europe, turned out for competition in seven divisions.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions and high level of play,” said tournament director Chad Arneson.

Nick Clark, left, and Alex Biedul

Boys 16s winners Alec Schlossman and Eric Ensing

Two of Arneson’s players at Santa Barbara High took top honors in the boys 18-under division as Nick Clark and Alex Biedul beat the team of Jack Benedict and Gordon Kirby of Los Osos in the final.

Third place went to Andrew Uberstine-J.J. Mosolf of Santa Clarita and Santa Barbarans Mark Outwater and Holden Ploch.

A large group of players from Valencia and the Santa Clarita area came to town to beat the heat and play the tournament.

In the 16s, Eric Ensing and Alec Schlossman from Valencia and Canyon Country, respectively, won the title. Zak Shellabarger of Ventura and Kyle Wellman of Newbury Park finished second and the teams of Hart Pitcher-Joe Rafferty of Santa Barbara and Cavan Donohoe-Andrew Jacocks of Thousand Oaks took third.

Locals dominated the 14-under group. Nathan Holmes and Baker Johnson took top honors, beating out Quinn Denkensohn and Jonah Iwanaga. The third-place teams were Tristan Fauntleroy-Will Howard and Connor Everman-Scott Everman.

The girls competition included 48 teams in four divisions.

In the 18-under division, players from Europe were among the top teams. Ziva Recek and Mojca Bozic of Slovenia won the title over Tylar Turnbull-Kristen Moncks of Huntington Beach. Ana Pehnec-Lina Pajnik of Slovenia and Halli Amaro-Lindsey Lawmaster shared third place.

Kristen Moncks, far left, and Tylar Turnbull, far right, finished second to Girls 18 champions Ziva Recek, middle left, and Mojca Bozio.

The girls from Slovenia are here as part of a tour arranged by former Dos Pueblos and UCLA star Tim Kelly, who runs the international company Bring It Promotions. The company specializes in sending athletes all over the world.

Closer to home, the local team of Paige Rasmussen and Catherine Grimes captured the 16-under tournament over Delaney Knudsen of Valencia and Sierra Sanchez of Santa Clarita. The third-place finishers were Valencia’s

Stephanie Botten-Hayley Knapp and local pair Bailey Roach-Karly Lawrence.

Alexis Rottman, left, and Dane Miller

The 14-under division was won by locals Alexis Rottman and Dane Miller. They topped Valencia’s Kaitlyn Uythoven and Lindsey Knudsen. Taking third were Tatum Vedder-Anika Wilson and Kylee House-Alyssa Ararce.

In the 12-under division, the Santa Barbara team of Chloe Allen-Malia Morales earned first place and Valencia’s Demi Dawson-Elizabet Baker finished second. The third-place combos were Brooke Stark of Westlake Village and Jessica Sprague of Camarillo, and Valencia’s Kelsey Knudsen and Jessica Jimenez of Santa Clarita.

The Knudsen girls are the daughters of Valencia High coach and former Santa Barbara High star Mark Knudsen.

Next Tuesday’s tournament will be a qualifier for the Cal Cup in Manhattan Beach later in the summer.

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