COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 20, 2018) – Sara Hughes and Summer Ross finished the FIVB World Tour Finals with a 2-2 record. Although the team did not advance from pool play, there were a lot of positives.

Hughes and Ross, who were seeded 10th, fell to Brazil’s fourth-seeded Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado in their first pool play match, 24-22, 21-18.

The U.S. team beat the top-seeded German team of Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude, 14-21, 21-19, 15-8 in their second pool play match.

In their third match, they took Canada’s fifth-seeded Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson to three before losing, 22-20, 14-21, 15-10.

Their fourth pool play match was a must-win if they hoped to advance. Hughes and Ross did beat eighth-seeded Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of Netherlands, 21-15, 24-22, but other results did not work in their favor.

In their first season as a team, Hughes and Ross say they have learned a lot.

“We’re figuring things out still,” Ross said. “It’s cool that we have this base to work from. We just can’t wait to get better next year.”

“It’s been such a smooth transition for Summer and I,” Hughes added. “The first time we stepped on the court together, it felt really natural. It’s been very exciting. Jose Loiola, our coach, has been teaching us so much. Every tournament we’re progressing and getting better.”


Olympians Nicole Branagh, Lauren Fendrick, Jake Gibb, Casey Patterson, Reid Priddy, April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings will be among those competing on Wednesday in the USA Volleyball NORCECA Qualifier, beginning at 9 a.m. on the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Teams will be competing to qualify for the NORCECA event in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic on Oct. 4-7.

The qualifier matches will begin at 9 a.m. with finals for men at 3 p.m. and finals for women at 4 p.m.

U.S. Women’s Teams Competing in Manhattan Beach
(by seed)
1 April Ross/Alix Klineman
2 Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman
3 Kerri Walsh Jennings/Kelly Claes
4 Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil
5 Betsi Flint/Emily Day
6 Caitlin Ledoux/Nicole Branagh
7 Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock
8 Kelly Reeves/Brittany Howard
9 Aurora Davis/Jace Pardon
10 Brittany Tiegs/Kendra VanZwieten
11 Kim Smith/Nicolette Martin
12 Katherine Spieler/Emily Hartong

U.S. Men’s Teams Competing in Manhattan Beach
(by seed)
1 Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb
2 Stafford Slick/Casey Patterson
3 Ryan Doherty/Billy Allen
4 Chase Budinger/Sean Rosenthal
5 Jeremy Casebeer/Reid Priddy
6 Ed Ratledge/Troy Field
7 Avery Drost/Eric Zaun
8 Trevor Crabb/Tri Bourne
9 Adam Roberts/Jeff Samuels
10 Travis Mewhirter/Hagen Smith
11 Andrew Dentler/Raffe Paulis
12 Mark Burik/David Lee


The first FIVB World Tour event at which Olympic ranking points will be awarded in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games is a one-star double-gender event in Montpellier, on Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

U.S. women’s teams scheduled to compete are Audrey Nourse/Nicole Nourse and Melissa Powell/Allison Spurrier.

The major events of the 2018 qualifying period will be a three-stars in Quinzhou, China (Sept. 30-Oct. 4) and Chetumal, Mexico (Oct. 24-28) and four-stars in Yangzhou, China (Oct. 10-14) and Las Vegas (Oct. 17-21).

The Olympic qualifying period goes from Sept. 1, 2018 to June 14, 2020. The Olympic Ranking is based on the FIVB Ranking Points earned at the 12 best performances as a team at recognized FIVB and NORCECA events during that period.


Alix Klineman/April Ross and Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena won the women’s and men’s titles at the AVP Manhattan Beach on Sunday.

In the women’s final, Klineman/Ross beat Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar, 27-25, 17-21, 15-13.

In the men’s final, Dalhausser/Lucena beat Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb, 12-21, 22-20, 15-13.

The AVP’s regular series will wind up with the Championships on Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Chicago.