COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 27, 2022) – Four pairs of the U.S. Beach National Team saw their time in the Beach Pro Tour’s Ostrava Elite 16 tournament conclude Friday in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Two U.S. teams faced de-facto elimination matches during Friday’s final round of pool play. With both teams tied with a 1-1 pool record, Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb took Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medalists Cherif Younousee/Ahmed Tijan to the brink. After swapping set victories, the third set was narrow with neither team leading by two until the end of the frame. Both pairs held at least one match point, but the Qataris took the frame and the match, 2-1 (23-21, 16-21, 16-14) to advance.

Bourne/Crabb won two matches in the qualifier Wednesday to reach the main draw. With a 1-2 pool record, they finish the tournament tied for ninth.

Playing in their first international tournament after winning the Itapema Challenge in April, Sara Hughes/Kelley Kolinske went 1-2 in Ostrava. They beat Olympic bronze medalists Anouk Verge-Depre/Joana Heidrich of Switzerland but lost to reigning world champions Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada in their first two pool matches. During the pool finale Friday, Hughes/Kolinske needed a win over Germany’s Svenja Muller/Cinja Tillmann for a playoff spot. Muller/Tillmann won, 2-0 (21-14, 21-19).

Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil also advanced through the qualifier, winning twice Wednesday. After a loss to open pool play, Cannon/Sponcil faced two Olympic semifinalists Friday in hopes of advancing. They took both Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho del Solar (Australia; Olympic silver medalist) and Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka (Latvia; fourth place in Tokyo) to three sets but lost both to end the tournament.

Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner also played two three-set matches in Ostrava, including against Rosarito Elite 16 winners Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands. Schalk/Brunner went 0-3 in pool play.

Sarah Schermerhorn/Corinne Quiggle also competed in the qualifier.

In the Elite 16, the highest level of competition in international beach volleyball, only the top two teams from each pool advance to the playoffs. The world’s top 12 teams earn main draw berths and are joined by four teams who advance through what Schalk has called “the hardest, nastiest qualifier there’s ever been on the international tour.”

International play resumes next week for the U.S. BNT with another Elite 16 tournament, this time in Jurmala, Latvia. Play begins Wednesday, June 1. There is also a Futures event in Klaipeda, Lithuania, June 2-5.