It almost seemed as if Trevor Crabb couldn’t believe what was coming out of his own mouth, when he recalled his conversation with Casey Patterson following his victory at the Manhattan Beach Open.
Crabb’s first AVP win came after seven losses in AVP finals. It came after the beach volleyball world populated the hashtag #NevorTrevor, where some pushed it in their posts seriously, others just jokingly, others because it’s just what people were doing.
Everybody knew, of course, that Crabb would get his. One doesn’t simply make seven finals and lose all of the rest to come. Crabb claimed, on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter, that there was no added pressure with each passing tournament and no title. What it did do, however, is build up that moment, when he sealed the seam with his right hand and blocked Patterson for the final point of his first win on tour, at the biggest beach volleyball tournament not named The Olympics, no less.
The euphoria afterwards was so high, such a rush, in fact, he told Patterson that “I almost wish it didn’t happen, because I know the feeling and what it did so I want that same feeling again. It’s all downhill from here.”
So where do we go from here, Trevor?
“Just rack ‘em up,” he said. “Tally ‘em up. Win as many as possible.”
It is funny, how that first win came. Tri Bourne had broken his hand at the Vienna Major, leaving Crabb not short of options but certainly short of his No. 1 option. He asked the AVP to allow Italian Alex Ranghieri, with whom Crabb is good friends and plays the Manhattan six-man, but they shot it down. He shot a text to Sean Rosenthal, with whom he had made the 2018 Manhattan Open finals, but that got shot down, too. Which left, of all things, a text from Rich Lambourne that went without reply.
“Priddy-Crabb on the Pier, 2019?” Lambourne asked Priddy and Crabb in a group text.
Nobody replied, though it remained in the backs of their minds. Crabb was going to reach out to Priddy before he did, so when Priddy gave Crabb the call, they were both all in. Didn’t matter if Priddy hadn’t blocked since 2017, for just a single event, or that they had never played together before, or that they had once shared some trash talk and brief rivalry.
Crabb knew they could win.
“To be honest, I knew it was definitely a possibility,” he said. “It was going to be tough to do but I knew that both of us really just wanted it bad. I’d been to the finals seven times, that was my eighth, lost all seven. Reid’s never made a final yet in his two years so we were both long overdue for that.”
That win was more than just a victory for Crabb and Priddy, but a win for the mindset they share: To be the best, you cannot specialize in one element. You must be versatile. You must, as Crabb and Priddy proved, be able to play both sides, both positions.
Basically: You just gotta get the job done, from anywhere, anytime, in any condition. And they did.
“In order to call yourself a beach volleyball player, you have to be able to side out from anywhere on the court so I kind of took that on me and focused and learned how to side out on the right side,” Crabb said. “It’s a lot more challenging than the left. You have a lot less vision, you have to rely on a lot of things first. It’s going pretty good so far. I can’t say I miss the left at all though. It’s nice to play both sides. I think that’s what separates me from someone else.”
And now the next chapter of his career begins. His AVP victory – his first, certainly not the last – is finished. Now it’s time to rack ‘em up, tally ‘em up, build ‘em up to the ultimate crescendo: The 2020 Olympic Games.
The one victory he would never wish didn’t happen.