COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (October 6, 2021) – The U.S. Beach National Team saw mixed results on day one of the FIVB World Tour Finals Wednesday as three duos combined for a 2-3 record in Cagliari, Italy.
In their sole match, Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil overcame a first-set loss to beat Olympic bronze medalists Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland, 2-1. After narrowly dropping the first set 19-21, Claes/Sponcil won the second handily at 21-14. They closed with a 15-11 win in the third to clinch the match.
The young Americans are second in pool B with two points. They face Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands Thursday at 6:30 a.m. Pacific.
Split Decision for Gibb/Crabb
Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb, meanwhile, went 1-1 Wednesday. They opened the tournament with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) win over Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs. Tied at 15-all in the first set, Gibb made back-to-back blocks for a 17-15 lead, and the Americans held on for a two-point set victory. They controlled much of the second set to clinch the win.
In the nightcap against the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner, Gibb/Crabb fell 2-0 (21-12, 21-16). Gibb/Crabb are tied for second in pool A with three points, one behind the Czechs. They begin day two of the tournament with a 4:30 a.m. Pacific matchup against Steven van de Velde/Christiaan Varenhorst of the Netherlands.
Six Sets, Two Losses for A-Team
Alix Klineman/April Ross played plenty of volleyball by going three sets in both matches Wednesday, but they lost both third-set tiebreakers for an 0-2 record halfway through the round robin. They began the day with a narrow 22-24, 21-19, 15-10 loss to Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina, and they lost 22-20, 13-21, 15-8 to Julia Sude/Karla Borger of Germany in match two.
Klineman/Ross are tied for third in pool A with Makroguzonva/Kholomina, who played once Wednesday. The Americans face Italians Valentina Gottardi/Marta Menegatti at 2:30 a.m. Pacific Thursday.