The stuff of Legends
August 21, 2009
Good things come to those who are patient.
Will McKissock was beginning to feel like the Chicago Cubs of Zephyr Cove Beach volleyball. In 13 previous Legends’ tournaments, McKissock’s team didn’t even qualify for the playoff round.
So when McKissock’s four-player team found itself in the championship match on Saturday, there was some serious disbelief on his face as well as the beach volleyball crowd in attendance.
When his team fell behind 14-4 in the final, there was no reason to think that the elusive title might have to wait another 13 years.
What ensued can only happen in side-out scoring, McKissock said. He and his teammates, who included Joan Rickward, Andrew Riley and Ronnie Baker, reeled off 12 straight points to claim the four-player team tournament.
“I’ve never been in the playoffs. The odds of that are crazy,” said McKissock, who has also directed the Legends event for the past six years. “From when they first called championship point, I guess half an hour passed. I guess it was my day or my team’s.
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“We’re trying to preserve old-school rules. That would never happen with the way the new game is today with rally scoring.”
Norm Anderson, Brandon Pfennig, Mike Murphy and Cody Herbst were runner-up in the 16-team tournament.
McKissock was also pleased with the results from tinkering with the tournament’s playoff format. In past years, only the eight quarterfinal teams continued to play. This time, McKissock allowed the teams that were out of title contention to participate in a best-of-the-rest playoff.
“I’ve done about 30 tournaments at Zephyr Cove, and I finally figured out the formula to keeping everybody happy,” McKissock said. “Let them go into a playoff and play people that are their level.
“I think that we developed a lot of volleyball players this weekend; people who will come back and play in tournaments.”
In Sunday’s King of the Beez two-person tournament, South Shore high school students Cody Williams and Kory DiGrande bested 14 other teams to win the title. Williams and DiGrande edged Kurt “The Hammer” Carlsen and Jimmy Wosnak of South Lake Tahoe 15-13 in the championship.
“A big crowd and side-out scoring, that’s what made all of the finals exciting,” said Mike Plansky, who runs the tournaments with McKissock.
Claiming the Legends’ best-of-the-rest title were 10-year-old Trent Lingruen, Tony Dove, Lance Dutton and Mark Hofmann. Second place went to Jeff Stefins, Ryan Davis, Phillip Benjamin and Lorna Anderson.
For McKissock, his long-awaited title wasn’t as special as seeing Carson McFadden and Shannon Dugan capture the best-of-the-rest title in the King of the Beez event. The teenagers downed Katie White and Damian Garcia 17-15. McFadden’s father, Bobby, a former Legends winner from Carson City, died of a heart attack five years ago.
“To see her come back and play and win, it was pretty exciting to see,” McKissock said. “He was a fixture out there on Zephyr Cove beach with his daughters. Maybe Bobby’s energy was there.”