It has become impossible to ignore: The top players in the United States are getting older. Nick Lucena is 38. John Hyden, ageless as he may be, is 45. Casey Patterson is 37, as is Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal. Jake Gibb is 41.
“We’re definitely holding it down for USA Volleyball,” Phil Dalhausser said last week on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter presented by Marriott Vacation Club Rentals.
Holding it down until a new wave of talent establishes itself to fill in for the longtime veterans and representatives of the United States on the world stage.
Chase Frishman is one of the most likely members of that next wave, and he considers himself to be, as he should.
In just his second year on the AVP Tour, Frishman, partnered with Avery Drost, made his first semifinal, in Hermosa Beach, where, he admits on SANDCAST, “we got our bell rung.” By year’s end, the 26-year-old nearly tripled the prize money from his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2016, taking five top-10 finishes in 2017 as compared to two in 2016.
With Lucena, Hyden, Patterson and Rosenthal having, at most, one more quad left in them, Frishman sees himself as part of a group of four up-and-coming defenders under 30, including 25-year-old Taylor Crabb – “the golden boy,” Frishman says – 24-year-old Eric Zaun, and 28-year-old Miles Evans.
He’s not wrong. One aspect the three of them have in common is a Rookie of the Year Award, with Frishman succeeding Crabb and Zaun succeeding him. Evans has only played in one AVP main draw, choosing instead to compete internationally this past season with Billy Kolinske.
But Frishman, of course, has one element those three – or anyone else on tour not named Sean Rosenthal, for that matter – do not have: Ledge’s Legion.
Aside from the infamous Rosie’s Raiders, Frishman boasts the largest, loudest, rowdiest crowd on tour. They’ve bestowed themselves the nickname ‘Ledge’s Legion’ as an eponym of Frishman’s nickname, ‘Ledge,’ doled out because, as his former partner Mike Brunsting said, “When you watch him play, he just looks like a legend.”
Where to find Chase Frishman:
Previously on SANDCAST:
SANDCAST 8: Phil Dalhausser has another mountain to climb
SANDCAST 7: Geena Urango, the intern who dug her way to the top
SANDCAST 6: A glimpse into greatness with April Ross, Part 2
SANDCAST 5: A glimpse into greatness with April Ross, Part 1
SANDCAST 4: Introducing the newest American defender, Chaim Schalk
SANDCAST 3: It’s finally video game season for Kelly Claes
SANDCAST 2: Ryan Doherty, the Most Interesting Man in Beach Volleyball
SANDCAST 1: The new Tri Bourne: Buddha Tri Bourne
“When you watch him play, he just looks like a legend.” Maybe its just me, but when you are a “legend” before you win anything of substance, you really aren’t a “legend”, are you? Any probably won’t ever be one. Just play the game. . . .
David, you have a point, but let me tell a story before you judge this kid harshly. And preface it by saying he didn’t pick his nicknames. And he didn’t gain a loud and rowdy group of followers, or win “rookie of the year” by being a flash in the pan. But this story goes to his character: Every year they hold the venerable Victoria Beach Four Man tournament in Laguna. It’s a pretty big, solid tournament he’s managed to win several times. But my story goes back to 2015 when my team faced his in the finals. Somehow, we climbed to tournament point against his team. Chase blocked a ball down which should have brought it back to deuce, but he netted, albeit the very smallest touch. Nobody saw it, neither his team nor ours, nor the fans, but he called it on himself. Set, match, tournament, done. Maybe he’s not a “legend” yet, those were the toss-away words of a partner, but certainly he has the stuff that legends are molded from. Time will tell. Meanwhile, relax and enjoy the show.