Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes hug after a match victory
Sarah Sponcil, left, and Kelly Claes celebrate a match victory

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 18, 2021) – Two U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams and one women’s team have qualified for the Katara Cup, an FIVB four-star event on March 8-12 in Doha, Qatar.

USA Volleyball held a country quota qualifier for the event on Thursday at Huntington Beach, Calif. Four men’s teams competed for two spots available in Doha qualifier. Three women’s teams competed for one spot in Doha.

On the men’s side, Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk defeated Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb, 17-21, 21-17, 15-11. Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson beat Miles Evans/Bill Kolinski, 21-14, 21-19.

In the women’s event, Emily Day/Sara Hughes defeated Terese Cannon/Kelly Reeves, 21-15, 21-13. Then, Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil beat Day/Hughes, 21-19. 21-16.

The women’s beach teams of Alix Klineman/April Ross, Kerri Walsh Jennings/Brook Sweat and Kelly Kolinski/Emily Stockman qualified for the women’s main draw in Doha by virtue of their FIVB entry points.

The men’s teams of Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb and Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena also qualified.

Top U.S. beach teams are battling for slots at the Tokyo Olympic Games later this summer. The Doha event is the first major international beach event with Olympic qualifying points on the line since the COVID pandemic lockdown began in March 2020.