COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 4, 2018) – Beach volleyball Olympic qualifying season has begun and U.S. teams are off to a good start.

Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb won gold at the FIVB World Tour three-star event on Oct. 4 in Qinzhou, China while Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil won bronze.

All FIVB World Tour events are now worth points toward qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Qinzhou was the first international tournament for Bourne since he had to take almost two full seasons off while recovering from dermatomyositis, a chronic inflammatory muscle disease.

“It was a huge victory for me and Trevor,” Bourne said in an FIVB press release. “This is the first FIVB World Tour event for me in two years, so it just means a lot to me to play at this level.”

In the second round, Bourne/Crabb beat the U.S. team of Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick, 21-14, 21-15. In the final, Bourne/Crabb beat Russia’s Valeriy Samoday/Taras Myskiv, 21-18, 21-19.

Samoday/Myskiv had beaten Bourne/Crabb in the second round of pool play, forcing the U.S. team to win a first-round match to advance.

“We played them in pool play and they beat us, so we were expecting a tough match,” Crabb said. “We knew that we had to have a better game plan, which kind of showed after that first set. Tri Bourne was awesome and we’re so happy that we won the gold. We were both aggressive on defense and blocking, and we sided out consistently.”

Claes/Sponcil, playing for the first time as a team, went undefeated until the semifinals, when they fell to Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, 21-19, 21-14.

In the third-place match, they beat Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova/Evgenia Ukolova, 21-13, 21-16.

“It’s really exciting to come out in your first tournament and win a medal,” Claes said in an FIVB press release. “We obviously have a lot to work on even with this finish. I’m really excited to grow this team and see what we can do.

“Between our (semifinal) loss and our (bronze medal) win, the main difference was aggressiveness. We were not aggressive in our passing and our swings or serving and that’s one thing that we changed in this match. We did that, and we came up with the win.”


3 Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes
5T Betsi Flint/Emil Day
5T Kelly Reeves/Brittany Howard
17T Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock

1 Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb
9T Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick


The U.S. women’s team of Falyn Fonoimoana and Molly Turner won the gold medal at the NORCECA Beach Tour event in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The men’s team of Avery Drost and Eric Zaun placed third.

In the women’s final, Fonoimoana and Turner beat Canada’s Nicole and Megan McNamara, 24-22, 21-15. In the semifinals Fonoimoana and Turner defeated Mexico’s Martha Revuelta and Zara Orellana, 21-13, 21-16.

Drost and Zaun beat Canada’s Sergey Grabovskyy and Fiodar Khazamiaka in the third-place match 21-13, 21-17.

U.S. Results in Punta Cana
1 Falyn Fanoimoana/Molly Turner
5 Katie Spieler/Karissa Cook

3 Avery Drost/Eric Zaun
9 Branden Clemens/Ben Vaught


Oct. 5-7: NORCECA Beach Tour in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic

U.S. Teams
Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen
Alix Klineman/April Ross

Ryan Doherty/Billy Allen
Eric Zaun/Avery Drost

Sports Medicine: Ciara Cappo

Oct. 9-14: FIVB World Tour Four-Star in Yanzhou, China

U.S. Teams
Summer Ross/Sarah Hughes
April Ross/Alix Klineman
Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen
Kerri Walsh Jennings/Kelly Claes
Betsi Flint/Emily Day

Ryan Doherty/Billy Allen
Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick
Miles Evans/Bill Kolinske
Mark Burik/David Lee

Sports Medicine: Joe Houde
Sports Medicine: Jen Watters

Oct. 16-21: FIVB World Tour Four-Star in Las Vegas, Nev.

U.S. Teams
Summer Ross/Sarah Hughes
April Ross/Alix Klineman
Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen
Kerri Walsh Jennings/Brooke Sweat
Betsi Flint/Emily Day
Nicole Branagh/Brittany Howard
Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil
Lauren Fendrick/Brittany Hochevar

Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb
Ryan Doherty/Bill Allen
Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick
Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb
Sean Rosenthal/Chase Budinger
Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans
Reid Priddy/Jeremy Casebeer
Avery Drost/Eric Zaun

USAV Staff: Tyler Hildebrand
USAV Staff: Sean Scott
USAV Staff: Phil Noyes