August 30, 1992 |
The setting could not have been more ideal for Brent Frohoff in the semifinals of the $750,000 U.S. Championship pro beach volleyball tournament Saturday at Hermosa Beach. Frohoff, playing in front of hometown fans, had the crowd on his side and the momentum of having won last week's $250,000 tournament in Santa Cruz with partner Ricci Luyties. The problem, however, was that Luyties, one of the tour's best blockers and hitters, played with a broken left toe.
August 28, 1992 |
Kent Steffes tosses aside the telephone. "Whoa, hang on just a second," he says. He returns a minute later with a towel and an explanation. He has spilled grape juice on his couch in his Pacific Palisades home. Bummer. "The couch is black, so it shouldn't be too bad," he said. "It'll be OK." Minor disasters have been few this summer for Steffes, whose skills on the pro beach volleyball tour far outshine his ability to handle a jug of juice.
August 14, 1992 |
Kent Steffes grew up idolizing Jim Menges, and for two summers watched Menges and Greg Lee dominate the pro beach volleyball tour. Fresh off outstanding athletic careers at UCLA, Menges and Lee won a record 13 consecutive tournaments in 1975-76, a streak few figured would be matched. Then along came two other former Bruins--Steffes and San Clemente's Karch Kiraly.
July 3, 1992 |
Cocky or just confident? Kent Steffes faces that question every day. "If someone comes up to you and asks, 'How good are you?' and you say 'I'm the best in the world,' they say you're cocky," Steffes said. "But if you say, 'Oh, I'm all right,' then they say you're stuck up. "You can't win." Arguments, no. Volleyball games, yes. Steffes, 24, is the top-ranked player on the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals-Miller Lite tour.
June 1, 1992 |
When the time is ripe and the magic fades, Karch Kiraly will bow out gracefully and Kent Steffes will carry on dutifully. Now is not that time. In what could be called one of pro beach volleyball's more illustrious moments, Kiraly and Steffes won a tit-for-tat test against Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos that will be remembered for its grit and tenacity. Maybe the one-hour, 45-minute championship of the Miller Lite San Diego Open dragged out because the fans willed it that way.
June 16, 1991
Kent Steffes gets up in the morning, flips open the newspaper to the business pages, checks out the stock-market quotations. He is an economics student at UCLA. Turns 23 next Sunday. Already makes a nice living. Made $116,556 last year. Playing volleyball. He plays it on the beaches of Hermosa and Manhattan, in the hotbox of Phoenix and cool sand of Cape Cod, even in the parking lot of the Houston Astrodome.
April 15, 1991 |
Think Tim Hovland was excited after he and partner Kent Steffes bested top-seeded Randy Stoklos and Sinjin Smith to win the AVP/Miller Lite Open Sunday at Mariner's Point? Well, it's hard to say. He punched his fists in the air when Steffes sent a soft shot past Smith to cap off a 15-12 victory in the final. He then ran over to hug Steffes. And this was his first beach volleyball title this year.