NAWILIWILI — The Kauai team of Todd Harrison and Mike Thornton were in the finals for the men’s division at Sunday’s Dinosaur beach volleyball tournament at Kalapaki Beach.
But a five-time championship pair from San Diego was not to be denied — Jimmy Nichols and Greg Lyle took two sets, 15-11, 15-12, to claim victory before a large and enthusiastic Kauai-supporting crowd.
In the women’s arena, another San Diego pair — Kelly Drobeck and Lynne Galli — completed an undefeated three days of volleyball, clinching the title with a 15-12 win over Aurora Skarra-Gallagher and Jeanne Vetter, also of California.
Harrison has made it to the Dinosaur tournament twice while Thornton was playing his third Dinosaur.
“This was a lot of work,” Harrison said. “It was super fun, and a great tournament. It was a horrible way to end it on a bad pass. But I’m looking forward to next year’s tournament.”
Thornton said their opponents in the final were very good and hard to beat because they had such good ball control.
“I’m sore and tired,” he said afterward. “I just rode on Todd’s coattails and did whatever needing doing. It’s a dance, a balancing act.”
Galli and Drobeck had earlier defeated the defending champions, Annette Lynch and Monica Kessi of Maui, on Saturday.
Despite the loss, Lynch and Kessi worked to the semifinals, before dropping to Skarra-Gallagher and Vetter for the right to face Drobeck and Galli in the finals.
“This is our first time playing,” Galli said. “Winning makes it special. We kept the game short, and because we knew the girls, Skarra-Gallagher and Vetter, we had to be patient. But we had to finish in one.”
Galli said the sand is similar to San Diego, but slightly darker in color.
“The long courts made it tiring, though,” she said. “We had to capitalize on points, and keep the matches short.”