A three-week tournament hub begins Friday in Cancun.

Country Quota Update - 4 p.m. MT

Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil and Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner have both advanced through the country quota and earned spots in tournament No. 1’s qualifier. Claes/Sponcil beat Sara Hughes/Emily Day 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) for the berth. Earlier in the day, Hughes/Day downed Kelly Reeves/Terese Cannon in three sets (29-32, 32-20, 25-8) for the right to face Claes/Sponcil.

Schalk/Brunner also picked up a two-set win, beating Bill Kolisnke/Miles Evans (21-19, 21-18) for the qualifier berth.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 15, 2021) – The race for Tokyo has moved to Cancun, Mexico, for the next three weeks as the U.S. Beach National Team will compete in three tournaments April 16-May 2.

All three tournaments are four-star events on the FIVB World Tour and will all award Olympic Ranking points toward qualification for Tokyo 2020. The first tournament will run April 16-22 with country quota matches taking place April 15.

On the women’s side, three USA Volleyball duos will advance directly to the main draw of tournament No. 1: Alix Klineman/April Ross, Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings and Emily Stockman/Kelley Kolinske. One more pair will compete in the tournament’s qualifier. That team will be decided April 15 when Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil, Sara Hughes/Emily Day and Kelly Reeves/Terese Cannon compete in the country quota.

Two American men’s pairs, meanwhile, advance directly to the main draw: Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb and Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser. Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb will begin the tournament in the qualifier round, and they’ll be joined by either Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans or Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner, who will face each other in a country quota match for the final spot.

This and the two subsequent tournaments in Cancun look to play a large role in deciding which teams will represent the United State at the 2020 Olympic Games later this summer in Tokyo. The top two American duos for each gender should earn a berth (if they are in the top 15 of the provisional Olympic rankings). As of now, only Klineman/Ross have mathematically clinched a berth. The current rankings are as follows:

U.S. Women’s Pairs in the Provisional Olympic Rankings

U.S. RankTeamPointsWorld Olympic Rank
2Sweat/Walsh Jennings6,9605

U.S. Men’s Pairs in the Provisional Olympic Rankings

U.S. RankTeamPointsWorld Olympic Rank
1Ta. Crabb/Gibb7,0008
3Bourne/Tr. Crabb6,36015

In addition to Olympic Ranking points, Cancun will give members of the U.S. Beach National Team a chance to compete against top competition before Tokyo. Eight of the top 10 men’s pairs in the Olympic Rankings will compete in this first Cancun tournament, including top-ranked Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway and second place Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy of Russia.

Nine of the top women’s pairs will also be in Cancun. Four of those are Americans, but current world champions and second-ranked Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada will compete as well.

Cancun No. 1 will be the second Olympic Qualifying tournament of 2021. The four-star Katara Cup in Doha, Qatar in March restarted qualification; Klineman/Ross won the women’s draw in Qatar, and Crabb/Gibb took bronze. In all, four USA Volleyball duos reached the semifinal round, and five reached the knockout round.

All matches of every Cancun tournament will be live streamed on the FIVB’s Beach Volleyball YouTube account.