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In January of 2018, Trevor Crabb sat at a kitchen table in Redondo Beach, Calif., and laid out his first prophecy.

“Last year I was getting some defensive reps behind Sean Rosenthal, because he can pretty much do everything. But yeah, I definitely thought about playing defense, definitely something that I could see myself doing in the future,” he said. “But also it comes down to you getting a good blocker, and right now I consider myself one of the better blockers out there. So you go to defense, you're competing with the good defenders for those few good blockers. It's definitely something that I could see myself doing – a little more split blocking. My goal for sure is the Olympics, and obviously to medal in them – gold medal to be precise. It’s definitely something I see myself doing, and I can definitely see myself doing it as a blocker and potentially even down the road as a defender.”

It was easily dismissed then. Trevor Crabb, a defender? C’mon. He had never so much as split-blocked, doing so only on the rare occasion, as he mentioned, with Rosenthal. And yet, here we are, five years after Crabb made that statement, and he is, indeed, a full-time defender, and he has, indeed, been picked up by Theo Brunner, the man who has thrice been voted the best blocker in America, including 2022.

Doubt the man at your own risk.

This isn’t the first time Crabb has proven prophetic. The first came in 2020, when he guaranteed a win at the AVP Porsche Cup, despite losing two straight matches to Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, and another to Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb in the previous two tournaments. And then, of course, because this is Trevor Crabb, they beat Crabb and Gibb in the Porsche Cup quarterfinals, and knocked off Dalhausser and Lucena in the finals.


Then he did it again, a year later, in Manhattan Beach…and again in Fort Lauderdale the year after that. His declaration that he would one day be a full-time defender, behind one of the best blockers in the world, seems an almost mild success by comparison to three straight guaranteed victories coming to fruition. But there is no doubting that Crabb and Brunner have formed a team that will be viably contending for every AVP title, and one of the two American Olympic berths at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“In my mind, he’s a winner,” Brunner said. “I watched a ton of his video more in depth than I have in the past and I was super impressed. I think our personalities are going to be a really good fit because we get along, and I kind of need someone bringing the energy and he brings the energy and instigates with the other team and I love it. I think it’s going to be a really good fit.”

“I’m excited to play with the best blocker in the USA and one of the best in the world,” Crabb said. “We are both a little extra fired up for this run together and I think complement each other’s game well. I’m even more excited to expand my defense full time and I think I am an upgrade for Theo.”

That last bit is a minor prophecy, Crabb proclaiming that Brunner has taken a step up from his old defender in partnering with Crabb. Fans are welcome to debate the merits of that claim, though any debate shall forever come with a warning: Doubt Trevor Crabb if you will, but his past has proven awfully prescient. 

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