COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 21, 2023) – This edition of the beach update includes the results of Challenge Chiang Mai in Thailand that saw the U.S. earn more hardware at a Beach Pro Tour event. We also look ahead to the Joao Pessoa Elite 16 and the Geelong Futures which are both set to begin this week.
Challenge Chiang Mai
Miles Evans and Chase Budinger made it back-to-back medals at a BPT event, taking bronze in Chiang Mai. This comes two weeks after the duo won their first gold medal together at BPT Challenge Haikou.
Evans/Budinger defeated Nicolaidis/Carracher (AUS) 3-0 (27-25, 21-23, 15-9) in the bronze medal match to earn the third step on the podium.
Joao Pessoa Elite 16
Joao Pessoa marks the ninth and final Elite 16 event on the 2023 calendar, beginning on Wednesday and concluding on Nov. 26. The FIVB Beach Pro Tour Finals are still to come in December in Doha, Qatar.
Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss are the only U.S. women’s team set to compete for the U.S. at Jao Pessoa. The world No. 3 pair and the bronze medalists at the 2023 world championships are looking for their seventh podium of the year out of pool B.
Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner are the lone U.S. pair on the men’s side. Crabb and Brunner have been on their own hot streak recently, finishing just one spot off the podium at world champs and then following that up with a silver medal at Challenge Haikou.
BPT Futures Geelong in Australia runs concurrently with Joao Pessoa Elite 16 and will feature several teams representing the U.S.
On the women’s side of the bracket, the teams of Kylie Wickley/Jade Race, Kelly Kool/Kennedy Coakley, Anna Donlan/Kelsey Bradbury, and Madison Shields/Delaney Peranich are all set to compete.
Donlan/Bradbury and Wickley/ Race have earned automatic placement in the main draw, while Kool/Coakley, Shields Peranich will start the tournament in the qualification phase.
In the men’s bracket, the U.S. will have Adam Roberts/Nate Miller in the qualification phase.
All U.S. teams will begin Futures Geelong looking to advance past the qualification phase.
As we near the end of November, we check on the latest FIVB world and provisional Olympic rankings to see slight shifts in the top-25.
World champions Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes are still No. 2 overall in the women’s world rankings with 8,320 points. Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss are still world No. 3 with 8,140 points. Both pairs remain behind world No. 1 and Pan American Games gold medalists Ana Patricia/Duda (BRA), who have 9,100 points. Hughes and Cheng have not competed since taking the gold at the 2023 Beach World Championships. Kloth and Nuss have a chance to improve their ranking this weekend at Joao Pessoa, which will be the duo’s 12th event played this year.
As of the beginning of the week, provisional Olympic rankings have Kloth/Nuss with 9,360 points and 11 tournaments played, sharing the first position with Ana Patricia/Duda and Carol/Barbara (BRA). Cheng/Hughes are in the provisional Olympic No. 2 spot with 9,040 points, as well as the W designating a quota place obtained for winning the 2023 World Championship.
Julia Scoles and Betsi Flint remain world No. 9 with 6,200 points. They are tied for No. 4 in provisional Olympic rankings with 6,740 points.
In the men’s rankings, Miles Partain and Andy Benesh are still world No. 3 with 6,900 points. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (NOR) remain world No. 1 with 8,860 points. Partain/Benesh are currently in a four-way tie for fourth in the provisional Olympic rankings with the same 6,900 points on eight tournaments played.
After their silver medal at Challenge Haikou, Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner moved up four spots in the world rankings and remain at world No. 16 with 5,400 points this week. In the provisional Olympic rankings, Crabb/Brunner are in a three-way tie for No. 7 with 6,460 points.
The bronze medal in Chiang Mai has catapulted Miles Evans and Chase Budinger up another six spots in the rankings this week. After winning Challenge Haikou, Miles Evans/Chase Budinger were at world No. 26. This week, they are inside the top 20 and sitting exactly at No. 20 in the world rankings, tied with Grimalt/Grimalt of Chile. Evans/Budinger are in sole possession of the No. 10 spot in the provisional Olympic list with 6,100 points.
Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk remain inside the top25 world rankings at No. 24 with 4,760 points. They are now ranked just behind Evans/Budinger at No. 11 in the provisional Olympic rankings with 6,080 points.