U.S. beach teams look to improve their rankings in the drive toward Paris 2028 this week at the Beach Pro Tour (PBT) Elite 16 event in Montréal, Canada
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 31, 2023) – The U.S. beach teams of Betsi Flint/Julia Scoles and Andy Benesh/Miles Partain each went the distance in the finals on Sunday before taking silver medals at the Pro Beach Tour Elite 16 event in Montreal, Canada.
In the women’s final, fourth-seeded Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes/Brandie Wilkerson beat Flint/Scoles 2-1 (21-15, 16-21, 15-13). In the men’s final, second-seeded Benesh/Partain fell to top-seeded Anders Mol/Chrisian Sorum of Norway 2-1 (21-17, 15-21, 15-10).
Flint/Scoles started the tournament as the sixth seed in the qualification bracket and won two matches to advance and take the 14th seed in the main draw line-up. It was their second Beach Pro Tour podium as a team. They also won silver at their team’s debut at the Torquay Elite16 in December.
In the final, Scoles and Flint registered 21 and 19 points respectively. Scoles scored on 17 kills, three blocks and one ace. Flint scored on 17 kills and two aces.
“We are proud of our performance. We played nine matches. Julia is just so resilient. It’s so fun to play next to her,” Flint said. “It was a battle all weekend and we are excited to be coming home with a silver medal.”
In the semifinals, Flint/Scoles beat Netherlands’ Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon, 2-0 (21-18, 21-19), with Scoles leading the way with 24 points, including three blocks and two aces. Flint added 10 points on kills.
“I think the take-it-one-at-a-time mentality, knowing that every game could be our last, helped us go out there and have fun, to play the sport that we love and know that it’s a blessing and an opportunity,” Scoles said. “We had to give it our best. The outcome is the outcome, but we are grateful for how we played and getting the silver.”
For Benesh/Partain, the Montreal silver was the third consecutive Elite16 podium finish. They also took the bronze in Ostrava and the gold in Gstaad at their previous two Beach Pro Tour appearances. The pair also took gold at the first Dubai Challenge last year.
In the gold medal match against Mol/Sorum, Benesh led the scoring with 21 points, including four blocks and the only two aces in the game. Partain added 14 points on 14 kills.
“It’s a really cool opportunity to be able to share the court with a lot of these guys, especially because we are a little new to the tour,” Benesh said. “We’ve been watching these guys for the last four years, trying to learn from them.”
Partain & Benesh delivered a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) shutout of Italy’s Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri, capitalizing on seven blocks from Benesh against only one for the Italians. Partain finished with 16 points and Benesh scored 14.
Among other U.S. women’s beach teams in Montreal, Kristen Nuss/Taryn Kloth tied for fifth. Sara Hughes/Kelly Cheng tied for ninth. Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil finished 13th.
For men’s teams, Miles Evans/Chase Budinger tied for ninth, Kyle Friend/Paul Lotman and Chaim Schalk/Tri Bourne tied for 21st.
With their silver medal in Montreal, Flint/Scoles have moved up to ninth overall and fourth among U.S. teams in the FIVB women’s beach rankings.
Hughes/Cheng are second overall and first among U.S. teams. Not far behind, Kloth/Nuss are third overall and second among U.S. teams. Cannon/Sponcil are seventh overall and third among U.S. teams.
In the race for Olympic qualification, Hughes/Cheng are first among U.S. teams and third overall. Nuss/Kloth are right behind them in fourth. Scoles/Flint are sixth overall and third among U.S. teams and Cannon/Sponcil are 11th overall and fourth among U.S. teams.
Only the top two U.S. teams will qualify for Paris 2024 as long as they are ranked in the top 15.
On the men’s side, Partain/Benesh are now the top-ranked U.S. team and seventh in the overall FIVB rankings. Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner are tied for 23rd overall and Schalk/Bourne are 26th.
In Olympic rankings, Partain/Benesh are ninth overall and the top U.S. team. Schalk/Bourne are 11th and Crabb/Brunner are 16th.
The U.S. girls u19 team of Kennedy Coakley/Myriah Massey and the boys u19 team of Jackson Herbert/Kai Rodriguez will represent the U.S. at the First Caribbean Beach Volleyball Invitational Tournament on Aug. 4-6 in Balneario de Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Twelve teams per gender will compete.
Schedule and live stream information is available at cvctpr.com.
All the top U.S. beach teams are headed for the AVP Atlanta Open on Aug. 4-6.
Women’s and Men’s Entry Lists
The next major Pro Beach Tour event will be the Hamburg Elite 16 on Aug. 16-20 in Germany.
Kristen Nuss/Taryn Kloth
Sara Hughes/Kelly Cheng
Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil
Miles Partain/Andy Benesh