COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Emily Stockman and Kimberly DiCello earned USA’s first gold medal on the 2017 FIVB World Tour when they claimed the top podium spot on April 16 from Langkawi, Malaysia.

The gold medal marks a career best finish for both Stockman and DiCello, who with the victory become the first U.S. pair to have two Top 5 finishes this season. They bested their last outing from Sydney where they finished fifth. Dave McKienzie and Andrew Dentler tied for ninth as the only men’s team in action.

Stockman and DiCello had a long tournament, despite its brief two-day schedule. The duo played extended ball in all four of their matches, winning each of them in three sets. In round one, the pair topped Japan 21-17, 12-21, 15-9 and followed with a defeat of Australia quickly after, 21-15, 18-21, 16-14. In the semifinals on Sunday, Austria’s Cornelia Rimser/Lena Plesiutschnig put up a fight but the U.S. surged back for the win, 17-21, 21-10, 18-16. It was the first time the U.S. dropped the first set all weekend.

The gold medal match featured Stockman and DiCello playing Sarka Nakladalova/Martina Bonnerova of the Czech Republic. Not only did the match go the distance in sets, the teams played extra points for the gold medal. Stockman and DiCello won the match, and their first FIVB gold, 22-20, 22-24, 17-15.

For the U.S. men, McKienzie and Dentler were the only pair to make the main draw. They fell 21-16, 21-15 to the eventual winners from Cuba in the opening round.

Langkawi 1-Star
– Kimberly DiCello/Emily Stockman won gold, their first FIVB podium finish, individually and as a team
– Dave McKienzie/Andrew Dentler tied for ninth, McKienzie’s second ninth place in 2017; Dentler’s first career FIVB tournament

FIVB Langkawi 1-Star Roster
Athletes    Entry
Kimberly DiCelloEmily StockmanMain Draw
Aurora DavisJace PardonReserve
David McKienzieAndrew DentlerMain Draw Wild Card
Adam RobertsMarty LorenzReserve
Mark BurikBill KolinskeReserve

April 20-23 FIVB Xiamen 3-Star
April 21-23 NORCECA Cayman Islands
May 4-7 AVP Huntington Beach
May 5-7 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship
May 11-13 USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships
May 17-21 FIVB Rio 4-Star
May 18-21 AVP Austin
May 23-28 FIVB Lucerne 4-Star
May 31 – June 4 FIVB Moscow 3-Star