COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 13, 2023) – In this week’s beach update, we look to BPT Challenge Chiang Mai, which will feature several U.S. Beach National Team pairs.
This comes after U.S. pairs competed in NORCECA Playoff 4 in Manhattan Beach on Nov. 10-12 to earn the right to compete at the NORCECA Tour Final in Juan Dollo, Dominican Republic. The NORCECA Tour Final offers the chance to earn points in the provisional Olympic rankings. We also have results from the U.S. pairs who were competing at the U21 Beach World Championships, and we check in on the most current Olympic rankings.
Challenge Chang Mai
The 2023 FIVB Beach Pro Tour heads to Thailand for Challenge Chiang Mai on Nov. 16-19. Three U.S. women’s pairs and six men’s pairs will compete.
For the women, Corinne Quiggle/Sarah Murphy, Teegan Van Gunst/Kim Hildreth, and Toni Rodriguez/Hailey Harward will compete. This will be the first international event for Rodriguez/Harward as a pair.
For the men, Miles Evans/Chase Budinger, Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander, Tri Bourne/Chaim Schalk, Tim Brewster/Kyle Friend, Adam Roberts/Jeff Samuels, and Jordan Hoppe/Cody Caldwell are all set to compete.
The U.S. had two men’s pairs medal in the most recent challenge event prior to Chang Mai. Evans/Budinger took gold, while Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner took silver at Challenge Haikou.
NORCECA Playoff 4
USA Volleyball hosted NORCECA Playoff 4 at Manhattan Beach on Nov. 10-12. Several top U.S. teams battled each other for the right to compete at the NORCECA Tour Final in Juan Dollo, Dominican Republic, an event with Olympic ranking points up for grabs. Competition for the playoff was held on the south side of the pier with matches running from the morning to the late afternoon.
The semifinals and finals featured showdowns with members of the U.S. Beach National Team on each side of the net. In the women’s semifinal, the new pairings of Hailey Harward/Toni Rodriguez faced Savvy Simo/Megan Rice, while Terese Cannon/Megan Kraft squared off against Kim Hildreth/Teegan Van Gunst.
Cannon/Kraft and Harward/Rodriguez advanced to the final, and Cannon/Kraft emerged with a 2-0 victory (24-22, 21-16). Hildreth/Van Gunst claimed third place.
In the men’s bracket, the semifinal matches pitted Miles Evans/Chase Budinger against Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner,, and Tri Bourne/Chaim Schalk against Miles Partain/Andy Benesh.
Crabb/Brunner advanced to the final with a 2-0 win (21-15, 21-12). Partain/Benesh won a three-set battle with Bourne/Schalk. In the final, Partain/Benesh defeated Crabb/Brunner 2-0.
U21 Beach World Championships
U.S. pairs wrapped up competition in Thailand at the 2023 U21 Beach World Championships over the weekend.
After advancing out of the main draw, Samaya Morin/Taylor Wilson and Gage Basey/Thomas Hurst both ended the tournament in the round of 16.
Salinda/Jidapa (THA) defeated Morin/Wilson in three sets 2-1 (15-21, 22-20, 16-14).
Hanni/Burgmann (ITA) defeated Hurst/Basey, 2-0 (21-15, 24-22).
Each U.S. pair finished tied for ninth in the final standings.
World and Olympic Rankings
The FIVB world rankings remain mostly the same for the U.S. women. The men’s rankings have seen some shifting after recent Beach Pro Tour events.
World champions Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes are still No. 2 overall in the women’s rankings with 8,320 points. Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss are still world No. 3 with 8,140 points. Both pairs remain behind world No. 1 and Pan American Games gold medalists Ana Patricia/Duda (BRA), who have 9,100 points.
Provisional Olympic rankings have Kloth/Nuss with 9,360 points and 11 tournaments played sharing the first position with Ana Patricia/Duda and Carol/Barbara (BRA). Cheng/Hughes are in the provisional Olympic No. 2 spot with 11 tournaments played and 9,040 points, but also with the W designating a quota place obtained for winning the 2023 World Championship.
Julia Scoles and Betsi Flint are world No. 9 with 6,200 points. They are tied for No. 4 in provisional Olympic rankings with 6,740 points and 11 tournaments played.
In the men’s rankings, Miles Partain and Andy Benesh are still world No. 3 with 7,100 points. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (NOR) remain world No. 1 with 9,100 points. Partain/Benesh are currently in a four-way tie for fourth in the provisional Olympic rankings with 6,900 points on eight tournaments played.
After their silver medal at Challenge Haikou, Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner moved up another four spots in the world rankings and are now at world No. 16 with 5,400 points. In the provisional Olympic rankings, Crabb/Brunner are tied for No. 6 with 6,460 points with 11 events.
Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk are inside the top-25 world rankings at No. 24 with 4,760 points. They are provisionally ranked tied for No. 9 in the Olympic ranking with 6,080 points and are third among U.S. men’s teams with 13 events.
After winning Challenge Haikou, Miles Evans/Chase Budinger are just outside the top-25 world rankings, now at 26 with 4,520 points. They are ranked No. 10 in the provisional Olympic list with 5,380 points. They are in fourth among the U.S. men’s teams and will reach their 12th tournament in Chang Mai.