ROSARITO, Mexico (March 27, 2022) – Kelly (Claes) Cheng/Betsi Flint wrapped up their first tournament of the season and of their partnership Sunday, placing fourth in the Beach Pro Tour’s Elite 16 contest in Rosarito, Mexico.
“It was nice to compete, feel each other out and learn more about each other on the court,” Flint said. “It’s awesome we get these high-pressure moments.”
Cheng/Flint took on Brazil’s Talita da Rocha Antunes/Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva during Sunday’s bronze medal match, falling 2-0 (22-20, 21-19). The first set saw tie scores all throughout the frame, the latest at 20-20 after a Flint kill successfully fought off a set point. Brazil took the next two to clinch the set.
In the second, Brazil tied the frame at 12-all after a three-point run. The teams sided out for the next few points, but Talita/Rebecca took a lead at 16-14 they wouldn’t relinquish.
“We just didn’t get enough stops on defense,” Cheng said. “They’re a really good team. I think we created enough opportunities to win, and we made a few too many errors. They got on a run in the second, and we couldn’t stop them. It’s a great team. I’m excited to play them all year.”
Fellow U.S. Beach National Team pairs Emily Day/April Ross and Sara Hughes/Kelley Kolinske joined Cheng/Flint with top-five finishes. Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk finished among the top 10. Two more – Lauren Fendrick/Emily Stockman and Chase Budinger/Troy Field – participated in the qualifier.
“This is a good start, but we’re not satisfied,” Flint said. “We want to be pushing for some medals this year.”
U.S. beach pairs will next compete at the Beach Pro Tour Futures event in Coolangatta, Australia, March 30-April 3. The next Elite 16 competition, the highest-level tournament on the Beach Pro Tour, will be May 25-29, 2022, in Ostrava, Czech Republic.