COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 12, 2018)Sara Hughes and Summer Ross won their first FIVB World Tour gold medal individually and as a team as they defeated Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa, 21-19, 12-21, 15-12 at the Moscow four-star event on Sunday.

The pair, who were seeded ninth in the tournament, won 800 ranking points and $20,000. Agatha/Duda were seeded second.

That was so amazing,” Hughes said. “My first World Tour final and being in the final meant everything.

“I am so glad I had this girl by my side. Brazil played great, but we competed hard to come out with the win.”

Ross, 25, and Hughes, 23, who came together in March, took bronze at the four-star event in Espinho, Portugal in July.

Prior to that, Ross took bronze medals with Brooke Sweat at FIVB events in Qinzhou, China and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Ross won the silver medal last year in Moscow with Brooke Sweat.

The U.S. team competed well in the first set and the Brazilians dominated the second. However, Hughes scored the first point of the tie-break to settle their nerves. They took control of the match and stayed calm when victory was in sight.

“We knew that the first point meant everything,” Ross said. “We just had to get every point we could get and somehow we got through.”

Hughes and Ross loss their first pool play match, but won every match after that, including a third-round victory over the fifth-seeded U.S. team of Alix Klineman/April Ross, 21-18, 21-19. In the semis, Hughes/Ross beat third-seeded Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany, 23-21, 21-14.

Ross and Hughes are the only U.S. team that will compete at the World Tour Finals on Aug. 15-19 in Hamburg, Germany.

To watch a replay of the gold medal match, click here.

U.S. Results in Moscow
1 Sara Hughes/Summer Ross (Coach Jose Loiola)
5T Alix Klineman/April Ross (Coach Jen Kessy)
9T Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman
17T Betsi Flint/Emily Day
DNQ Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil (Ryan Mariano)

9T Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb (Coach Rich Lambourne)
17T Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans

Athlete Support
Karla Wolford
Tyler Hildebrand
Joe Houde


The U.S. team of Allie Wheeler and Lara Dykstra, who had to win two qualification matches and were seeded 14th in the main draw, won gold on Saturday at the Vaduz, Liechtenstein, one-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

In the final, Dykstra/Wheeler defeated 10th-seeded Agata Ceynowa and Martyna Kloda of Poland (both 20), 21-13, 21-17.

It was the first ever FIVB tournament for Wheeler, 22 and the first-ever World Tour medal for both her and Dykstra, 25, who won the silver medal at the 2014 U23 World Championship with Jace Pardon.


The AVP Tour will hit Manhattan Beach on Aug. 16-19. 

The top seeds for the women are Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar. Top seeds for the men are Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena.