COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 4, 2022) – After a weekend off from competition, the U.S. Beach National Team is preparing for a busy May with multiple international tournaments every week this month.

U.S. Stirs the Pot in Aguascalientes

Four American pairs advanced to the semifinals during the first NORCECA Tour stop of the season April 22-24, and two – Zana Muno/Allie Wheeler and Bill Kolinske/Evan Cory – won silver medals at the event held in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The semifinal round saw two all-American matchups as Muno/Wheeler faced Savvy Simo/Megan Gebhard and Kolinske/Cory played Tim Brewster/Travis Mewhirter. Muno/Wheeler won 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) to advance to the gold medal match, and Kolinske/Cory prevailed 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) for their spot in the finale.

In the championship matches, Muno/Wheeler lost to Brandie Wilkerson/Sophie Bukovec of Canada in two sets, as did Kolinske/Cory to Cuba’s Jorge Luis Alayo/Noslen Diaz.

For bronze, Simo/Gebhard also lost to a Canadian pair in Shanice Marcelle/Ruby Sorra. Brewster/Mewhirter battled Mexico’s Juan Virgen/Miguel Delgado Sarabia but fell 2-0 (21-16, 28-26).

Cory’s medal came in his first international tournament. Simo and Gebhard also made their professional international debuts. Muno, Wheeler and Kolinske each have medaled at FIVB events in the past.

All Roads Lead to Rome 

Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander also competed in Aguascalientes, beating Puerto Rico’s Kevin Rodriguez/Juan Ribas 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) during a resumption of the NORCECA Beach World Championship Qualifier on April 23. With the win, Crabb/Sander laid claim to an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship berth. Should three or fewer American men’s pairs qualify for that tournament via the world rankings, Crabb/Sander will receive that berth. 

The Qualifier was originally scheduled for April 16-17 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, but the semifinals and medal rounds were postponed due to heavy rain. Crabb/Sander and Rodriguez/Ribas played a semifinal match. The medal rounds were canceled. 

The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship will take place June 10-19 in Rome. 

Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander pose for a picture

The A Team Goes to Washington

Alix Klineman/April Ross reunited in Washington D.C. this week as part of a celebration of Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The reigning beach volleyball gold medalists joined roughly 600 athletes for a presidential visit on the White House’s South Lawn. President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff all attended.

While Klineman is recovering from offseason surgery, Ross is competing with fellow BNT athlete Emily Day. The two are slated to compete next at the Beach World Championship.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by April Ross (@aprilrossbeach)

Internationally This Weekend 

BNT pairs will take part in two international tournaments this weekend. Corinne Quiggle/Sarah Schermerhorn, Tambre Nobles/Melissa Fuchs Powell and Adam Roberts/Cody Caldwell are in Doha, Qatar, for a Beach Pro Tour Challenge event. Nobles/Fuchs Powell and Roberts/Caldwell will begin play in the qualifier while Quiggle/Schermerhorn have already qualified for the main draw.  

Meanwhile, Mewhirter/Brewster, Wheeler/Iya Lindahl and Hagen Smith/Michael Boag and are in Varadero, Cuba, as the NORCECA Beach Tour continues. Smith, playing in his first pro-level international tournament, is the son of 1996 Olympian and beach great Sinjin Smith. 

Opening in Austin

Also this weekend, several BNT pairs are in Austin, Texas, for the first AVP pro tour event of the season:

  • Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb
  • Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner
  • Troy Field/Chase Budinger
  • Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander
  • Betsi Flint/Kelly Cheng
  • Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil
  • Kelley Kolinske/Sara Hughes
  • Emily Day/Emily Stockman
  • Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss

Furthermore, Kolinske/Cory are continuing their partnership in Austin, and BNT teammates Simo, Casey Patterson, Billy Allen, Logan Webber and Andy Benesh will also compete. Benesh has tabbed BNT great Phil Dalhausser as a temporary replacement for his usual partner, Nick Lucena.