Polar Bear Classic

Ed Chan
Dillon Lesniak serves in the men’s finals with an audience wrapped around the court.

Reindeer played in the 26th annual Polar Bear Classic Beach Volleyball Tournament. The PBC is said to be one of San Diego’s longest-running tournaments and boasts an impressive lineup of former pros.

This year’s tournament proceeds benefitted the Starling Volleyball Club (a low-cost alternative to expensive club volleyball programs, founded in San Diego in 1996) and the South Mission Beach Sports Courts.

According to tradition, the George Stepanof Sportsmanship Awards, named after tournament director and longtime volleyball community member George Stepanof, were presented to one male and one female player. This year the honors were bestowed upon Dave Skelly and Jacquelyn Schneider.

Mother-daughter and father-son teams were highly encouraged and given their own division, keeping with the tournament’s fun holiday feel. Costumes were prominent and former AVP stars Mike Bruning, Dianne DeNecochea, Suzanna Manole, Brian Lewis, and Matt Olsen all made appearances and helped elevate the competition, keeping the open level exciting.

Originally published in February 2013

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