COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 18, 2021) – Three member pairs of the U.S. Beach National Team claimed tournament titles Sunday as both Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk and Emily Day/Sara Hughes won their brackets at the Rubavu two-star and Crissy Jones/Susannah Muno won the women’s bracket at the Leuven one-star.
Brunner/Schalk won their first FIVB title in dominant fashion. They went 6-0 in Rubavu, Rwanda, and won all 12 sets played. They clinched the title with a 2-0 (25-23, 21-15) win over fellow Americans Chase Budinger/Troy Field, who were playing in their first tournament as a team. Budinger/Field reached the final after advancing through Rubavu’s qualifier before entering the main draw.
Day/Hughes picked up their first FIVB title as a partnership with a three-set comeback win (19-21, 21-13, 16-14) over Chantal Laboureur/Sarah Schulz of Germany in the finale. It’s Day’s second World Tour win and Hughes’ third. In the semifinals, Day/Hughes beat another German duo, Svenja Muller/Sarah Schneider, to avenge Traci Callahan/Emily Stockman’s quarterfinal loss and advance to the championship match.
In all, nine American pairs competed in Rubavu. Eight reached the main draw, five won their pools, and four advanced to the quarterfinal round. Miles Evans/Bill Kolinske, Corinne Quiggle/Allie Wheeler and Aurora Davis/Sarah Schermerhorn all finished in a tie for ninth place.
Muno/Jones capped Muno’s first FIVB tournament – and only Jones’ second – in style, beating Anna-Lena Grune/Chenoa Christ (GER), 2-1 (17-21, 21-11, 18-16) in the Leuven, Belgium, championship match. The American pair won 14 of 15 sets played, having started the tournament with two rounds of qualification. In the first qualifier round, Muno/Jones beat fellow U.S. pair Melissa Fuchs/Delaney Knudsen.
One other American duo played in Leuven: Travis Mewhirter/Adam Roberts. Starting in the men’s main draw, they rallied from an early loss in pool play and won two elimination matches. That put Mewhirter/Roberts into quarterfinals, where they lost to eventual bronze medalists Danijel Pokersnik/Crtomir Bosnjak of Slovenia.
One team, Michael Boag/Tim Brewster, represented the U.S. in the Sofia one-star. Opening the tournament in pool play, Boag/Brewster lost a tight three-setter to a team from Austria before dropping an elimination contest against a Bulgarian duo.
Sofia, Bulgaria, will hold another one-star tournament July 22-25. Fuchs/Lauren De Turk and Davis/Kim Hildreth will compete in the women-only tournament. Meanwhile, on July 24, Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena will open U.S. play in the Olympic Games with a match versus the Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen.