COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 10, 2022) – The U.S. Beach National Team saw mixed results on day one of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships as three pairs won their opening match and three lost in Rome Friday.

Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil, Betsi Flint/Kelly Cheng and Taylor Sander/Taylor Crabb each opened the biggest international beach volleyball tournament outside of the Olympic Games with a victory. Cannon/Sponcil faced a pair of Olympians in their Pool H opener against Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega/Lidianny Echeverria Benitez, who represented Cuba at Tokyo 2020. Cannon/Sponcil scored more points than the Cuban duo on the attack (28-24) and on serves (3-1) before winning 2-0 (21-16, 21-19).

Cheng/Flint also won in two sets, dominating Valentina Cali/Margherita Tega from host country Italy. The American duo led every scoring category en route to a 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) win. Cheng posted 17 total attack, block and serve points.

Sander/Crabb began their third international tournament of the season with a three-set win over France’s Youssef Krou/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat. The Taylors won the first set and lost the second in extra points, forcing a third set tiebreak. Krou/Gauthier-Rat led 3-5 early in the final frame, but the Americans reversed the scoreline at 10-7 and held on for a 2-1 (21-18, 20-22, 15-13) win. Sander blocked eight shots while Crabb landed 21 kills.

Three other U.S. pairs – Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner, Emily Day/Emily Stockman and Sara Hughes/Kelley Kolinske – began the world championships with a loss. Schalk/Brunner took Norway’s Mathias Berntsen/Hendrik Mol to three sets before falling, 2-1 (21-23, 21-17, 15-12). The match was Schalk’s first contest at worlds for the United States. He previously competed in two world championships for his native Canada.

Playing their first international tournament as a pair – they took third at AVP Austin last month – Day/Stockman fell to Taru Lahti-Liukkonen/Niina Ahtiainen of Finland, 2-1 (14-21, 21-13, 15-12). Hughes/Kolinske lost to hosts Marta Menegatti/Valentina Gottardi of Italy, 2-0 (21-17, 21-19).

Play at the 2022 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships continues Saturday, June 11. Sander/Crabb are the first of five American pairs to compete; they take on Qatar’s Cherif Younousse Samba/Ahmed Tijan at 3 am Pacific. Trevor Crabb/Tri Bourne will play their first match of the tournament at 9 am Pacific.