COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 13, 2021) – If one were looking to hold a meeting with the U.S. Beach National Team, this week would be a bad choice. Not only are four teams – Alix Klineman/April Ross, Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil, Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb and Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – finishing preparation and traveling to Tokyo for the Olympic Games, but several more teams will be scattered across Europe and Africa playing in various tournaments on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Nine American duos will compete at the Rubavu (Rwanda) two-star held July 13-July 18. Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk are the men’s tournament’s top seed, and Miles Evans/Bill Kolinske are third. Two more men’s pairs will begin play in the qualifier: Billy Allen/Andy Benesh and Chase Budinger/Troy Field.
USAV pairs again are seeded Nos. 1 and 3 in the women’s draw as Emily Day/Sara Hughes top the bracket and Traci Callahan/Emily Stockman are third. Corinne Quiggle/Alex Wheeler will begin the tournament in qualification, but the two-time FIVB medalists are the qualifier’s top seed. They’ll be joined by Aurora Davis/Sarah Schermerhorn, who are seeded second. Davis/Schermerhorn beat Terese Cannon/Kim Hildreth, 2-1 (15-21, 21-19, 15-13) in a country quota match for that final qualifier spot.
Three pairs will compete at the Leuven (Belgium) one-star July 15-18. Melissa Fuchs/Delaney Knudsen make their second FIVB appearance as a pair when they begin the tournament in the qualifier. Crissy Jones/Susannah Muno will also play in the qualifier; this will be their first tournament together and Muno’s first FIVB World Tour event.
Joining the two pairs will be Travis Mewhirter/Adam Roberts, who begin in the main draw.
One pair will take part in the Sofia (Bulgaria) one-star July 15-18: Michael Boag/Tim Brewster. The two will begin in the tournament’s main draw. This is their second FIVB World Tour stop this year – they also competed at a one-star in Sofia last month.
After this week of three tournaments, there’ll be one additional one-star (Sofia July 22-25) before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 run July 24-August 7. One-star tournaments in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and again in Sofia will also run concurrently with the Olympics.