Nearly 40 teams from adult to youth doubles teams competed for bragging rights at the third OPVBC Grass Bash tournament Saturday.

BREMERTON — With every kill, set and bump there was also a mixture of laughter, exultations of triumph or groans of displeasure.

Olympic Premier Volleyball Club held its third annual Grass Bash Doubles tournament Saturday at Lions Park and saw one of its biggest turnouts for its annual fundraiser.

Kadence Stoddard of Port Orchard hits as teammate Emma Harsha of Lakewood looks on during the OPVBC 3rd annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Kadence Stoddard of Port Orchard hits as teammate Emma Harsha of Lakewood looks on during the OPVBC third annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

The tournament began in 2016 to give adult players more opportunity to play in the summer and introduce younger players to two-man volleyball. OPVBC director Michelle Miller said many players, whether they’re home from college or play adult recreation league, enjoy playing on grass because it’s more powerful than sand but it also allows players to move easier and is a good introduction to doubles.

Miller said it’s hard to commit to beach volleyball during the summer if players don’t practice. 

“Sand is a little bit harder,” she said. “Grass has been around for a while. I’ve been playing adult grass for the last seven years or so and we just decided to introduce it to the kids three years ago.”

Bremerton’s Jeff Sencil, along with teammate Sarah Paluski of Renton, said grass might be easier than sand but added it has its own elements of difficulty.

“Grass is really good because you have to be well-rounded. Indoors, you’re at a set position,” he said. “Whereas in grass you have to be able to do everything, you have to be able to bump, to set, to spike, play defense.”

Jeff Sencil of Bremerton hits during the OPVBC 3rd annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Jeff Sencil of Bremerton hits during the OPVBC third annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

This year there were 21 adult teams, nine middle school and eight high school teams registered giving teams plenty of quality opponents.

Jaron Williams and playing partner Stephanie Peshlakai traveled from Olympia to compete and made into the bracket play for the elite adults. 

Williams and Peshlakai wanted to play in the tournament in order to support OPVBC but also to get in some good competition. Williams started playing volleyball right out of high school while Peshlakai played for Evergreen State College.

Stephanie Peshlakai of Olympia returns a serve as teammate Jaron Williams looks on during the OPVBC 3rd annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
Stephanie Peshlakai of Olympia returns a serve as teammate Jaron Williams looks on during the OPVBC third annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“We just try and support the local teams and it’s within a decent driving distance,” Williams said.

“The volleyball community that we have here in Washington is pretty amazing,” added Peshlakai. “Everybody just has good sportsmanship and everybody’s really friendly. It just ends up being a fun day of hanging out with your friends playing a sport that you love.”

Aimee Degall of Bainbridge Island hits during the OPVBC 3rd annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton.(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

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Aimee Degall of Bainbridge Island hits during the OPVBC 3rd annual Grass Bash volleyball tournament Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Lions Park in Bremerton. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)


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