Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss win 2024 Elite 16 Espinho (FIVB)
Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss take Gold at Elite 16 Espinho (FIVB).

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 28, 2024) – Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss secured another gold medal on the FIVB Beach Pro Tour, two months out from the Paris games. Miles Evans and Chase Budinger extended their lead over Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner with two tournaments to go before the U.S. Olympic teams are finalized. One of those tournaments begins this week, as Challenge Stare Jablonki will feature the two men’s teams vying for that final spot.

Elite 16 Espinho 

Kloth and Nuss made it back-to-back podiums in their two most recent BPT events. They stood on the top step in Portugal with gold medals as the winners of Elite 16 Espinho.

TKN highlighted their run in the elimination phase with a commanding 2-0 win (21-17, 21-15) over No. 1 ranked Ana Patricia/Duda (BRA) in the quarterfinal. From there, it was a 2-0 win over Stam and Schoon (NED) (22-20, 21-13), which put them in the final vs. Huberli/Brunner (SUI).

The fight for gold went three sets and saw the U.S. pair take the win (17-21, 28-26, 15-10).

“It was such a battle,” Nuss told Volleyball World. “I think we to go three every single time against that Swiss team; they are phenomenal athletes. It was pretty fun just to battle this wind. The stadium was packed for the finals and for us athletes, it means a lot to play in this atmosphere.”

The win makes it three medals, including two gold, in the last four international events for Kloth and Nuss, going back to the 2023 Beach Pro Tour Finals. Kloth and Nuss took silver in their last tournament, the Elite 16 Brasilia.

On the men’s side of the tournament, Miles Partain/Andy Benesh advanced out of pool play but fell in the round of 12 to Ehlers/Wickler (GER). The German pair then faced Miles Evans/Chase Budinger in the quarterfinals where the Germans were once again victorious, 2-0 (21-14, 21-14).

Evans and Budinger finished tied for fifth and Partain/Benesh tied for ninth.

Full Results 

BPT Futures Battipaglia

The U.S. brought home even more hardware over the past weekend courtesy of Logan Webber and Hagen Smith. The men took gold at BPT Futures Battipaglia, defeating the home pairing of Dal Corso/Viscovich (ITA) 2-0 (21-18, 21-15).

The gold is Webber and Smith’s first on the Beach Pro Tour and second medal overall as a pair.

Full Results

Challenge Stare Jablonki

The penultimate points-scoring international tournament before the Olympic qualifying cutoff is Challenge Stare Jablonki, which runs May 28–June 2 in Poland.

For the men, Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner and Miles Evans/Chase Budinger will battle in hopes of locking up the final spot.

For the women, Kim Hildreth/Teegan Van Gunst, Hailey Harward/Kylie Deberg, Savvy Simo/Abby Van Winkle, and Brooke Sweat/Kennedy Coakley are all set to compete.

After this tournament, the final points-scoring tournament for the Olympics will be Elite 16 Ostrava on June 6-9 in Czech Republic.

Miles Evans and Chase Budinger are currently in the lead for the final Olympic spot for the U.S. men (FIVB)
Miles Evans, right, and Chase Budinger are currently in the lead for the final Olympic spot for the U.S. men (FIVB)

Olympic Rankings

Miles Evans and Chase Budinger extended their lead for the final Olympics spot at Elite 16 Espinho.

As of May 27, Evans/Budinger are provisionally ranked No. 13 and now have 8,400 points on 22 tournaments played. This puts them 540 points ahead of Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner. The latter pair is tied for the No. 14 provisional ranking and have 7,860 points on 20 tournaments played.

Miles Partain/Andy Benesh moved up to No. 5 in the provisional Olympic rankings with the latest finish. Partain/Benesh have 9,580 points on 13 tournaments played.

The U.S. women remain unchanged going into the final two points scoring tournaments.

Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss are No. 2 in the provisional Olympic rankings behind only Ana Patricia/Duda (BRA). Nuss/Kloth have 11,960 points on 19 tournaments played. Espinho was expected to be the final international tournament before the Paris games for the top-ranked U.S. women.

Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes remain No. 3 in the provisional Olympic rankings with 10,800 points on 16 tournaments played. Hughes/Cheng have the W designation for a quota place obtained for winning the 2023 Beach World Championships.

Current World Rankings – Men

Current World Rankings – Women

Provisional Olympic Ranking – Men 

Provisional Olympic Ranking – Women

How to Qualify for the Olympics


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