Eleven U.S. beach volleyball teams are in Ostrava, Czech Republic this week for the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 tournament, which begins on Wednesday and runs through Sunday
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2023) – U.S beach teams won silver and bronze medals on Sunday at Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil took the women’s silver medal. Andy Benesh/Miles Partain won the men’s bronze.
It was the fourth Beach Pro Tour podium for Cannon/Sponcil. Benesh/Partain won their second medal on the Beach Pro Tour. The medal was the first for a U.S. men’s beach team at an Elite 16 event since the Beach Pro Tour started in 2022.
“It feels great!” Partain told Volleyball World. “It was such a miracle to qualify and then just being able to break pool and just play one point at a time… Thank God for it because qualification was really difficult. We had pretty much already lost and somehow we were able to come back.”
“It was really fun to play in front of the Ostrava fans,” Benesh added. “And yes, I’m pretty tired and I am going to go take a nap pretty soon.”
Both U.S. teams had to fight their way into the main draw by winning two qualifier matches.
Seeded 16th and last in the main draw, Cannon/Sponcil went 2-1 in pool play, losing only to Brazil’s No. 1-seeded Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda)/Ana Patricia Ramos, the reigning world champions (21-19, 21-18).
The advanced straight to the quarterfinals where they beat Switzerland’s Anouk Vergé-Dépré/Joana Mäder (21-16, 21-14). In the semis, Cannon/Sponcil defeated Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes/Brandie Wilkerson (19-21, 23-21, 15-13).
In the final, Canon/Sponcil met Duda/Ana Patricia again and fell 2-1 (17-21, 21-14, 15-12).
Benesh/Partain were seeded 13th in the main draw. They went 1-2 in pool play, putting them in the round of 12, where they beat Poland’s Bartosz Łosiak/Michal Bryl 2-0 (21-19, 21-19).
In the quarterfinals, Benesh/Partain faced Sweden’s No. 2 seeded David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig. Benesh/Partain won the first set 21-18 before Ahman/Hellvig had to withdraw due to injury.
In Sunday’s semifinals, Benesh/Partain lost to Qatar’s Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 15-9). They came back in the bronze medal match to beat Czech Republic’s Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner 2-0 (21-14, 21-17).
OTHER U.S. TEAM FINISHES
Sara Hughes/Kelly Cheng 5T
Kristen Nuss/Taryn Kloth 5T
Julia Scoles/Betsi Flint 9T
Savvy Simo/Toni Rodriguez 17T
Megan Kraft/Emily Stockman 21T
Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner 13T
Miles Evans/Chase Budinger 21T
Troy Field/Paul Lotman 21T
Chaim Schalk/Tri Bourne 21T
Benesh/Partain and Kelley Kolinske/Hailey Harward are scheduled to play June 6-9 at the World Championship qualifier in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
The World Championships are scheduled for October 6-15 in Tlaxcala, Mexico.
Samuel Massari/Ryan Rapini are scheduled to compete on June 8-11 at the Spiez Future event in Switzerland.