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Back to the Beach for Volleyball

August 24, 1995|LAURIE K. SCHENDEN

Playing volleyball at the beach is a great way to spend a day off--but it's even better if it's your job. Think it doesn't sound like much of a way to make a living? Consider that the richest purse in pro beach volleyball history is up for grabs this weekend, at the 20th annual $1.25-million Miller Lite Championships, which begin Friday. That's a few more clams than when beach volleyball first came to be in 1976, when the take was just $5,000.

Karch Kiraly, "King Karch" to sand 'n' surf aficionados, has been around almost since the beginning. (You may remember him with a couple of U.S. Olympic gold medals around his neck in the '80s. He plans to try for even more Olympic gold when beach volleyball becomes an Olympic sport in 1996.) Kiraly and teammate Scott Ayakatubby, one of Hermosa Beach's own, will vie for the title in the two-man competitions against other top teams, such as that of Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh.

Competitions are Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday beginning at 9:30 a.m., with the championship match at 2 p.m. at Hermosa Beach Pier, 100 Pier Ave.

Spectators can watch the action for free in the "beach seats," or in two-day court-side reserved seating, which ranges from $10 to $65. Call (800) 793-TOUR or Ticketmaster (213) 480-3232

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