Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 8:08 am | Fair 44º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Santa Barbara Athletic Round TableThe LabAmerican Riviera Bank

A Beautiful Day for Beach Volleyball

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The weather may have been brisk but the action was red-hot at the 2008 Polar Bear volleyball tournament at East Beach.

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Friends in fleece and wool met early and stayed late at East Beach for the annual celebration of Super Saturday, Santa Barbara-style.{mosimage}

The Polar Bear beach volleyball tournament, with sunshine, burritos and cerveza, attracted 98 men and women of the South Coast’s thriving volleyball subculture to revel in the sport that unites them.

They were there to compete, of course, but more important to share the occasion and the beauty of a midwinter day, catching up with friends, old and new.

Steve Lough started it all 30-some years ago with a casual affair at Goleta Beach, and he’s kept it that way, despite the growth in popularity.

The clear morning was a perfect February beach scene, as threatening clouds dissipated and cool sunshine prevailed. Clusters of longtime friends shared stories of families, travels, injuries and last night’s Gauchos win over Hawai’i.{mosimage}

By 9:30 a.m., pools had been drawn up and action commenced on 10 courts, each featuring round-robin competition for five men and five women.

“At about noon the temperature dropped 15 degrees,” Lough said, “and the wind started ripping. But no one left. They just bundled up and enjoyed it.

"When the wind died two hours later it glassed off and the final was sunset perfection.”

In that final, Daven Allison and Greg Novak defeated Tiffer Guigliano and Kit Peterson, 21-17. But the full field of players stayed to watch, and relish the camaraderie. They could cheer on the survivors still churning and diving in the sand, and glass off themselves after their gorgeous day outdoors.{mosimage}

That was the victory shared by them all.

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