Volleyball hit the Southern California beaches in 1949, and a tough six-man game became a frantic two-man game. The airborne Karch Kiraly (above) and Christopher St. John Smith have won the Cuervo World Championships twice. At left, winning last year at Redondo Beach, Kiraly prepares to smite, while Smith is all eyes at the net. Up the coast a ways at Santa Barbara, Carol Revello also clicked with the onlookers.
Crowds like this one at Redondo aren't unusual, and a new July event, at Clearwater, Fla., has been added to the old five-stop, all-California pro tour. Prize money for the tour now totals $67,000; when Matt Gage (below) won the first event which offered prize money, in '73, his share was only $75. At right, Theresa Lee Smith ambles off with $50 for being runner-up in a Miss Cuervo contest.
The spike return, volleyball's most dynamic play, can smash the sand—or a brave defender's arm—at 100 mph. Here Gary Hooper drives back a crowding fan. Above, Kiraly, a four-time All-America at UCLA, sets up another spike. A grizzled fan is well fortified for the action, and for Vicki Sue Benson, L.A.'s Miss Cuervo.