COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (November 14, 2021) – Terese Cannon/Sara Hughes ended the 2021 international beach volleyball season in thrilling fashion Sunday, coming from behind to beat Taina Silva Bigi/Victoria Lopes Pereira Tosta and win bronze at the Itapema 4-star in Itapema, Brazil.

In front of a raucous Brazilian crowd, Tania/Victoria took an early lead by winning the first set 21-9. Cannon/Hughes regrouped and won the second, 21-18, and they used a 4-0 scoring run in the third to power to a 2-1 (9-21, 21-18, 15-9) match win.

“After the first set, [we] went back and talked about mostly our passing, setting and not siding out,” Hughes said. “We were kind of anxious coming in, being tentative. We decided, ‘Know what? Go after it, hit the ball,’ and it worked out well for us.”

The medal is Hughes’ second and Cannon’s third international medal of the year. It is also Cannon’s first from a four-star event on the FIVB World Tour.

“It’s been a pretty long season,” Cannon said. “But this is a pretty good way to cap it off with a bronze medal.”

Cannon/Hughes was the only non-Brazilian team in the women’s semifinal round, and they and Betsi Flint/Emily Day were the only pairs preventing an all-Brazilian quarterfinal. Flint/Day lost in three sets to Taina/Victoria in Saturday’s quarterfinal, one day after the American pair won three elimination matches to remain in contention.

The other four American pairs in the main draw reached the second round and claimed a top-10 finish. Corinne Quiggle/Sarah Schermerhorn lost to eventual gold medalists Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda Santos Lisboa of Brazil, Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander fell to men’s gold medalists George Souto Maior Wanderley/Andre Loyola Stein of Brazil; Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner lost to second-ranked Alison Cerutti/Gustavo Albrecht Carvalhaes of Brazil and Chase Budinger/Troy Field lost to Sweden’s David Ahman/Jonatan Hellvig.

Two more USAV duos competed in the qualifier: Timothy Brewster/Travis Mewhirter and Kim Hildreth/Megan Kraft.

The Itapema 4-star was the final international tournament of 2021 and final tournament ever of the FIVB World Tour. Next year, it will be replaced by the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour, which will put more emphasis on the in-venue experience with music, food and the beach lifestyle.