COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 16, 2017) – The U.S. women’s beach team of Mima Mirkovic and Kathryn Plummer beat ­­Italy’s Gaia Traballi and Ester Maestroni, 21-7, 21-19 on Sunday to win bronze at the FIVB Under-21 Beach World Championships in Nanjing, China.

It is the second bronze medal in as many years for the U.S. team, which took third in 2016 at the U19 World Championships. Plummer and partner Morgan Martin won the gold medal at the 2014 FIVB U17 World Championships.

“It feels incredible, to get to play for the USA is an honor and to take the bronze again and take another medal back to our country, it’s awesome,” Plummer said in an FIVB press release.

“I’m really happy that we were able to come back after the loss to Brazil yesterday and we were able to come together as a team and get the win. I’m so excited and proud of my team and the whole USA squad cheering,” Mirkovic added.

The women’s gold-medal match was a repeat of 2016 as Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos beat Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina, 22-20, 21-17 for their second straight gold. The Brazilian team had defeated Mirkovic and Plummer in the semifinals, 21-19, 21-16.

Mirkovic and Plummer went 6-1 in the tournament and went 12-3 in sets. One of the set losses was to Traballi and Maestroni in pool play. Mirkovic and Plummer pulled out the tie-breaker, 21-18, 16,21, 15-13

“We played Italy in pool play, it was a lot hotter and there was a lot more elements, so everybody struggled through that. So we knew what we were getting with this team. We scouted them a lot and the match was kind of what we expected. We had a game plan and we stuck to it, so that’s what helped us win,” Plummer said.

“The medal means a lot for us, we were definitely aiming for first as every team is. We faced a tough loss against Brazil, but we kept our heads high and we stuck together and regrouped and a medal is a medal, so we just want to do our country proud,” Mirkovic said.

Among the other U.S. teams competing at the U21 World Championships, the men’s pair of Clay Messenger and Adam Wienckowski made it to the round of 16 where they lost to Brazil’s Adrielson Dos Santos Silva and Renato Andrew Lima de Carvalho, 21-11, 21-16. Adrielson and Renato went on to win the men’s gold medal.

The men’s team of Marcus and Miles Partain won two matches in qualification before losing to a Russian team in the third round. The women’s team of Savannah Simo and Torrey Van Winden lost in the second round of qualifying.

3rd Kathryn Plummer/Mima Mirkovic
t9th Clay Messenger/Adam Wienckowski
NR Savannah Simo/Torrey Van Winden
NR Marcus Partain/Miles Partain

U21 World Championships Roster
Athletes    Entry
Kathryn Plummer (Stanford)Mima Mirkovic (California)Main Draw
Savannah Simo (UCLA)Torrey Van Winden (UCLA)Qualification
Clay MessengerAdam WienckowskiMain Draw
Marcus PartainMiles PartainQualification
Jose LoiolaCoach
Marcio SicoliCoach
Megan BurgdorfTeam Leader