COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 4, 2018) – Four U.S. beach teams reached fifth-place finishes at the Vienna Major, the final 2018 five-star event on the FIVB World Tour.

On the women’s side, all five U.S. teams competing made it to the second round. Unfortunately, four of the teams had to play each other there. Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman beat Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar, 21-15, 22-20. Alix Klineman/April Ross beat Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil, 21-12, 21-12.

Sara Hughes/Summer Ross also advanced to the second round, where they beat Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, 16-21, 27-25, 15-8.

In the third round, Larsen/Stockman lost to Maria Antonelli/Carolina Solberg of Brazil, 21-14, 21-17. Klineman/A Ross fell to Netherlands’ Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink, 17-21, 25-23, 15-10. Sara Hughes/Summer Ross were defeated by Czech Republic’s Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova, 21-12, 21-12.

Larsen/Stockman and Fendrick/Sponcil both had to qualify for the main draw.

Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb had the best finish for the U.S. men. They won their pool. In the second match, they beat Spain’s very tough Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira, 27-29, 21-18, 15-11.

In the second round, they topped Russia’s Ilya Leshukov/Konstantin Semenov, 11-21, 21-19, 15-11. In the third round, they fell to Qatar’s Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan, 21-11, 21-18.

Gibb and Crabb had to qualify for the main draw. They eliminated the U.S. team of Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans in the second round of qualifying.

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena went 1-1 in pool play and advanced to the first round where they beat Austria’s Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller, 21-17, 21-15. In the second round, they lost a tough match to Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, 26-28, 24-22, 15-10.

Theo Brunner/John Hyden lost both pool play matches and were eliminated.

All tournament results are on the FIVB web site.

U.S. Team Results in Vienna

9T Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar (Coach Hector Gutierrez)
9T Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil
5T Alix Klineman/April Ross (Coach Jen Kessy)
5T Sara Hughes/Summer Ross (Coach Jose Loiola)
5T Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman (Coach Ryan Mariano)

5T Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb (Coach Rich Lambourne)
9T Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (Coach Jason Locchead)
25T Theo Brunner/John Hyden
DNQ Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans (Coach Tyler Hildebrand)

Athlete Support
Aimee Miyazawa
Sean Scott
Tyler Hildebrand
Kevin Pierce
Tyler Widdison
John Crawley
Elmo Agetep
Shawn Hueglin


Seven U.S. beach teams will compete in Moscow on Aug. 6-12 for the final FIVB four-star tournament of the season.

U.S. Women’s Entries by Seed
Main Draw
5 Klineman/A Ross (Jen Kessy)
11 Hughes/S Ross (Jose Loiola)
14 Larsen/Stockman
Emily Day/Betsi Flint

U.S. Men’s Entries by Seed
Main Draw
10 Gibb/Crabb
11 Kolinske/Evans

Athlete Support
Karla Wolford
Tyler Hildebrand
Joe Houde


Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick won their first FIVB hardware as a team, and Slick’s first ever, when they took third at the FIVB three-star tournament in Tokyo on July 30.

Competitors played as a typhoon blew through the city. In the bronze-medal match, Patterson/Slick defeated Germany’s Philipp Arne Bergmann and Yannick Harms, 8-21, 21-13, 15-10.

Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil were the top U.S. finishers on the women’s side as they finished tied for fifth. They lost in the third round to the eventual tournament winners, Teresa Mersmann and Cinja Tillmann of Germany.


5T Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil
9T Betsi Flint/Emily Day
17T Irene Pollock/Amanda Dowdy
17T McKenna Thibodeau/Madison Witt

3 Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick
17T Chase Budinger/Sean Rosenthal
17T Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans


Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh ended their partnership and withdrew from the Vienna Major.

Walsh Jennings told the Associated Press that she is looking for a new partner and will try to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She also predicted that it would be her final Olympic Games. If she qualifies for Tokyo, it will be her sixth Olympics.


The AVCA named Olympian Barbra Fontana its Club Beach Coach of the Year.

Fontana coaches for the Elite Beach Volleyball Club and in the USA Volleyball Beach High Performance Program.


Theo Brunner/John Hyden won the AVP event in Hermosa Beach, Calif., beating Ryan Doherty/Billy Allen in the final, 21-19, 16-21, 16-14 on July 29.

Sara Hughes/Summer Ross won the women’s event, beating Alix Klineman/April Ross in the final, 19-21, 21-19, 17-15.