Best of East Beach ready for Santa Barbara Open

Many of the top local beach volleyball players will be looking to experience the feeling of winning a tournament on the home sand  as the California Beach Volleyball Association Santa Barbara Open takes place in front of the East Beach Bathhouse this weekend.

The tournament, part of the Semana Nautica Summer Sports Festival, starts with the men’s competition on Saturday. The women play on Sunday. The finals are expected around 3 p.m.

Among the leading men’s teams with local ties are Dillan Bennett and Ian Satterfield, Will Harris-Matt Schroeder, Matt Jones-Mike Stewart and Jordon Dyer-Connor Olbright.

The top local teams on the women’s side include Eve Ettinger-Nicolette Martin, Katie Spieler-Torrey Van Winden, Patti Cook-Dana Kabashima, Anika Wilson-Kirsten Mead and Sam Maas-Julia Chamberlin.

Former DP standout Katie Spieler is playing in the Santa Barbara Open with her cousin Torrey Van Winden.

Former DP standout Katie Spieler is playing in the Santa Barbara Open with her cousin Torrey Van Winden.

Ettinger is a former Santa Barbara High star who plays on the USC sand volleyball team. Martin is her USC teammate. Spieler was a standout indoor player at Dos Pueblos before moving on to Hawaii, where she plays for the Rainbow Wahine sand team. Van Winden, a 6-3 high school junior from Napa, is her cousin. Cook, a former AVP player, is the women’s volleyball coach at Westmont. She and Kabashima, an East Beach local who played collegiately at Villanova, took third place in last year’s tournament. Wilson is entering  her senior year at San Marcos. On the beach, she finished second at the Santa Cruz Open last month to renew her AAA rating. Mead was a prep-All-American at Valley Christian High in the Bay Area and is headed to Santa Clara University. Sam Maas is a former All-CIF player from Dunn School. Chamberlin finished ninth in last year’s tourney playing with Spieler.

The teams of Susannah Muno-Skyler Caputo, Sophie Asprey-Kelly Claes and Abril Bustamonte-Jessica Jones figure to be in the hunt for the women’s title. In the CBVA points standings, Caputo is second and Muno is 12th. Caputo played on Pepperdine’s national championship sand volleyball team. Muno, a high school senior, has won several age-group national beach titles and has a second and a pair of thirds in open division tournaments this summer. Claes is ranked sixth in AAA points and Bustamonte is 27th.

Travis Schoonover is No. 2 in points for men’s AAA players. He’s playing with Andrew Russell, who is No. 18. Another strong team from out of the area is Jackson Bantle of UCLA and Harvard’s Branden Clemons. The 6-6 Clemons took ninth and the FIVB U12 World Beach Championships last year.

From East Beach, Harris and Schroeder won the AA tournament at Will Rogers State Beach in March to earn their AAA. Bennett, the boys volleyball coach at Laguna Blanca, is ranked fifth in the CBVA points standings for AAA players. He has a pair of open tournament runner-up finishes from Santa Cruz and three fifth-place finishes, all with Jones. Satterfield is a 6-5 outside hitter for the Long Beach State team. Stewart, Jones’ partner this weekend, played on Ohio State’s NCAA championship team in 2011. He now lives in Santa Barbara. Jones is the men’s volleyball coach at SBCC. Dyer is a former Dos Pueblos standout, who is ranked sixth in the AA points standings. His partner, Olbright, is the setter at Long Beach State. Another solid team is Peter Aronchick-David Rowker. Aronchick, a Santa Barbara alum, is No. 2 on the AA points list.