Sponsored by Firehouse American Eatery and Lounge and True Beach Apparel, the Pacific Beach Fest beach volleyball tournament on Oct. 5 in San Diego proved that beach volleyball goes strong well into fall for our Southern California ballers.
Rasa Virsilaite and Dalida Vernier took home the women’s title and the $1,000 check. Virsilaite, a former outside hitter at Illinois, came to the U.S. from Lithuania and since college has been playing on the AVP, EVP, and Jose Cuervo beach volleyball tours. Vernier grew up and went to college in Croatia before playing indoor professionally in her home country and Austria. In 2009, she moved to Southern California and transitioned to the beach game.
The men’s finals were cut short due to waning daylight, so Austin Rester and partner Derek Olson and Hawk Hatcher and his partner Trevor Crabb were forced to split the winnings and the glory. Olson captured the NVL Hermosa Beach title earlier this year with Mike Morrison. Rester was a runner-up in that event. Hatcher, although only 22, played his first AVP tournament in 2007 (yes, that means he was 15), and his partner, Crabb, played his collegiate career at Long Beach State from 2011-2013 as an outside hitter.
Pacific Beach Fest also included the Revolt Summer Surf Series Pro/Am finals, a 5K race and three stages of lives music playing throughout the day.