COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 22, 2018) – A team of beach players added a few layers and won the first U.S. medal in snow volleyball on Saturday, winning gold on the Moscow stop of the 2019 CEV Snow Volleyball Tour.

Karissa Cook, Katie Hartong, Katie Spieler and Allie Wheeler, who got a wild card into the main draw, went 5-0, beating Russia’s Olga Filina, Anna Romashova, Elizaveta Terenteva and Elizaveta Novikova in the final, 15-8, 13-15, 15-10.

On the men’s side, the U.S. team of Lloy Ball, Tomás Goldsmith, Kevin Owens and William Robbins went 1-2 in the main draw and finished tied for ninth.

It was the first time U.S. teams have played in an international snow volleyball competition and it was the first time either team had played snow volleyball. 

The women’s final was played in 17-degree weather, under the lights as a light snow fell.

“We are happy; it was a great tournament in a cold, but beautiful Moscow,” Cook told the CEV. “Thanks to everyone involved in our experience here. We enjoyed the great atmosphere. The FIVB and CEV need to continue to develop this sport, since it has a great future. We ourselves live in California, such weather is not something usual for us, but we will still try to play some more snow volleyball tournaments at the first opportunity we get.”

In the semifinals, the U.S. women beat Lithuania, 15-6, 15-5. The U.S. did not lose a set until the final.