Turner, Harrington take Masters
VAIL ” Ryan Turner and Paige Harrington don’t know what role each other plays when in comes to beach volleyball.
“He’s the horse,” Turner said. “I just saddle him up.”
“I’m the muscle,” Harrington said. “He’s the brains.”
However you term it, Turner and Harrington won the Men’s Masters division of the King of the Mountain Volleyball Tournament Friday at the Vail Athletic Field. The Front Range duo knocked off Toby Weber and Rich Willis, 21-17, 21-19, in the finals.
Weber and Willis nearly forced a third game, tying the second game at 19. Turner and Harrington held on, winning the next two points.
“It’s a game of swings, and 19-19 can turn into a third game really fast,” Turner said. “It just takes one bad pass and a serve over the net and you’ve lost. You get nervous no matter what level you’re at.”
On match point, Harrington punched the ball over the net, prompting some in the crowd to dub his new move “The Excalibur.”
“You can call it a cagey veteran move,” Harrington joked. “But if I tried to pass to (Turner), I would have shanked it. I looked over at the other side and saw both of them standing on one side and put it over.”
For Harrington it was his second Masters win. He won last year, playing with Josh Wyrick.
For Weber, a third game likely would have been tough.
“Rich sort of carried me,” Weber said. “I started cramping up. I just ran out of gas. My hamstrings and calves were cramping in that last game. I had nothing left in the tank.”
Familiarity apparently doesn’t breed contempt, but it made for good volleyball Friday in the King of the Mountain Men’s Senior competition.
Chris Stroup and Rocky Basile met up with Paul Fair and Brian Richter three times. Stroup and Basile won in the preliminaries. Fair and Richter took the finals match, forcing a double final won by Stroup and Basile, 25-15.
Not only did these four play a total of six games Friday, but they play in different combinations regularly down in Denver.
“They’re a tough team,” Stroup said. “We had to get used to what they were doing. We figured that out. They’re friends, too. We compete against them a lot. They’re real nice guys.”
After losing to Stroup and Basile earlier in the day, Fair and Richter worked their way back through the loser’s bracket to the final.
“We played more consistently as the day went on,” Fair said. “I hit the ball a lot. We passed the ball well. We were smooth at the beginning. We ran out of energy at the end. We played these guys a lot. They got all the free balls.”
While the Men’s Seniors tourney is not as serious as the Men’s and Women’s Open, which both start today, the competitive instinct still kicks in.
“It’s laid-back for a while and then it gets serious,” Stroup said. “No matter how old you are, you still want to win.”
For Basile, it was his third straight Seniors title, the second one coming with Stroup.
“We’ll have a shot of tequila.” Basile said.
“I’m not. I have to play tomorrow,” Stoud added.
In Co-ed BB action, Nikki Lawson and Todd Walker of Highlands Ranch took home the title. Joan Dalton of Centennial and Daryl Garcia won the Co-ed A.
The King of the Mountain continues today wit the Men’s and Women’s Open, A, BB, B and Junior action.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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