Betsi Flint digs at Elite16 Montreal

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 15, 2023) – This week, FIVB Elite16 Hamburg kicks off with the top U.S. Men’s and Women’s teams looking to bring home more hardware and improve their world rankings. It’s also one of the biggest weekends on the calendar for AVP. The main draw of the Manhattan Beach Open begins on Friday and a number of U.S. National Team pairs will hope to have their names carved onto the pier as 2023 champs.

Hamburg Preview

Hamburg, Germany is the host site for the seventh Elite16 event of the season beginning this Wednesday and running through the weekend at Am Rothenbaum Stadium.

On the men’s side, the U.S. duo of Miles Partain and Andy Benesh are seeded second out of 28 teams officially on the list. They are behind reigning Olympic and world champions Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway, who have won half of the Elite16 events held so far this season. Partain and Benesh faced the Norwegians in the championship match of the last two Elite16 events, splitting the meetings with a gold in Gstaad and a silver in Montreal.

On the women’s side, U.S. pair Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss are seeded third in this Elite16 event. They previously won the Uberlandia Elite16 and the La Paz Challenge, in addition to a bronze medal finish at Gstaad Elite16.

Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes are seeded fifth for the Hamburg Elite16. Cheng won the event in 2022 with former partner Betsi Flint.

The main draw for the women begins on Thursday. Round of 12 and the quarterfinals will be on Saturday, while the medal matches will be played on Sunday.

Current World Rankings – Men

Current World Rankings – Women

NORCECA Playoff No. 3 Results

The top seeded team for the women of Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Murphy won their opening two matches against Avery Poppinga/Madison Shields 21-19, 21-18 and Devon Newbury/Jaden Witmarsh 21-18, 21-16. This put them in the final against Lexy Denaburg and Molly Turner.

Denaburg and Turner defeated Iya Lindahl/Tiffany Cramer 21-16, 21-15 and Kimberly Hildreth/Teegan Van Gunst 21-14, 21-18 in their first two matches to reach the final. In the final match, Denaburg and Turner bested Quiggle and Murphy in two sets, winning 21-13, 22-20.

On the men’s side, Logan Webber and Hagen Smith defeated Robert Harrison/Cash Adamsen 21-15, 21-16 and Bill Kolinske/Cody Caldwell 21-13, 21-13 in their first two matches of the playoff.

Webber and Smith met Tim Brewster and Kyle Friend in the final. Brewster/Friend defeated James Shaw/Jordan Hoppe 16-21, 21-18, 15-7 and Alex Ukkelberg/Tyler Penberthy 22-20, 21-13 to reach the final.

In the fight for gold, Webber and Smith defeated Brewster and Friend in two sets (21-13, 21-13) to win the playoff.

Manhattan Beach Preview

The AVP 2023 Manhattan Beach Open, affectionately known as the Granddaddy, sees the main draw begin this Friday and run through Sunday. The draw is comprised of 32 teams, with eight pairs on the USA Volleyball Beach National Team Roster in 2023.

Trevor Crabb will seek to make it his fourth MBO Championship title with partner Theo Brunner. Former partner Tri Bourne will look to match with a fourth victory of his own with partner Chaim Schalk. Crabb/Brunner come into the MBO as the one seed, while Bourne/Schalk are the two seed.

Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander have yet to win the MBO, but did win in Miami Beach earlier this year and have been consistently ranked as a top-five pair.

Miles Evans and Chase Budinger are coming off a marathon second place finish in Atlanta. Lightning delays turned the final into a six-hour-long match that ultimately saw the duo fall to Benesh and Partain.

On the women’s side, Kelley Kolinske, now with partner Hailey Harward, is the only previous winner of the MBO.

The team of Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles are the top seeded team after coming off a silver medal performance in Montreal.

Sarah Schermerhorn and Corinne Quiggle won the AVP event in Hermosa earlier this season and will be looking for another top finish.

Meagan Kraft and Emily Stockman will be striving for a new team-high finish after placing in the top ten in their first three AVP competitions.

Futures – Qidong, China

Jade Race and Kelly Kool are set to compete at FIVB Futures Qidong beginning Aug. 17. Race and Kool are seeded seventh and are the only U.S. pair in Qidong. It is the first FIVB event for the duo.