Gregory, Hanley will always hold court at East Beach

Kathy Gregory and Kathy Hanley, beach volleyball legends and one of best women?s doubles teams of all time, are being honored with a East Beach court in their names.

A dedication ceremony for the newly renovated women?s court will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. The new court and the event is made possible by the Friends of East Beach Association.

FOEBA Gregory_Hanley Flyer

Gregory and Hanley won 12 titles together during the 1970s and 80s, including a pair of Santa Barbara Opens and Manhattan Beach Opens. Their first open title together was the 1976 Santa Barbara Open.

Gregory, a U.S. Volleyball Hall of Famer, competed on the beach through four decades, amassing 50 titles. She had a streak of 18 straight open tournament titles from 1976 to 1978.

Nicknamed “The Queen,” Gregory kept a ?AAA? rating on the beach through the age of 52. She and Hanley dominated in masters tournaments in the 1990s.

Gregory?s longevity as a competitive beach player is matched by her coaching career. She led the UCSB women?s volleyball team for 38 years, retiring after last season as the fifth winningest Division 1 coach of all time (866-395).

Hanley played for Gregory in 1976. On the beach, she won 20 titles on the Parks & Recreation open tournament circuit from 1975-1988. The former San Marcos High and UCSB standout was inducted into the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1997.

The Gregory-Hanley event will be the second court dedication carried out by the Friends of East Beach. In 2011, the group dedicated a court to the late Henry Bergmann, a legendary player on the men’s open tournament circuit in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The mission of FOEBA is to draft and execute a long-range plan to ensure that East Beach continues to serve the community as a premier beach volleyball facility by improving the poles and related equipment at the courts. So far, 11 courts have been restored to state-of-the-art stainless steel standards, while funding is still needed for the remaining three permanent courts.

For more information, to donate or to join FOEBA, visit www.foeba.org.

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