COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (October 5, 2021) – Three of the top pairs on the U.S. Beach National Team – Alix Klineman/April Ross, Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil and Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb will close out their international seasons at the FIVB World Tour Finals October 6-10 in Cagliari, Italy.
The tournament – the penultimate competition on the 2021 World Tour schedule – consists of 10 teams per gender separated into two five-team pools. Each team will play a full round-robin schedule against their pools. The top-seeded team in each pool advances directly to the semifinals while the second and third-ranked teams will compete in the quarterfinals.
Every match will be broadcast live on Beach Volleyball World’s YouTube channel.
The World Tour Finals will serve as a mini-Olympic reunion as nine teams for both genders qualified for Tokyo earlier this year. On the men’s side, Olympic gold medalists Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway and bronze medalists Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan of Qatar headline the field. Gibb/Crabb are among those who qualified, although Gibb ended up playing with Tri Bourne in Tokyo.
Klineman/Ross, Olympic gold medalists, top the women’s roster. Bronze medalists Anouk Verge-Depre/Joana Heidrich will also compete in Italy, and Claes/Sponcil are among the seven remaining teams who took part in the 2020 Olympic Games.
World Tour Finals Pools
|Men’s Pool A||Men’s Pool B||Women’s Pool A||Women’s Pool B|
|Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb – USA||Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan – QAT||Alix Klineman/April Ross – USA||Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil – USA|
|Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo – ITA||Anders Mol/Christian Sorum – NOR||Marta Menegatti/Valentina Gottardi – ITA||Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda Santos Lisboa – BRA|
|Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner – CZE||Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen – NED||Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina – RUS||Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes – CAN|
|Christiaan Varenhorst/Steven Van de Velde – NED||Konstantin Semenov/Ilya Leshukov – RUS||Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli – SUI||Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink – NED|
|Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs – LAT||Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich/Enrico Rossi – ITA||Karla Borger/Julia Sude – GER||Anouk Verge-Depre/Joana Heidrich – SUI|
The World Tour Finals will be Gibb’s last international tournament. Gibb, 45, announced his retirement at the 2020 Olympic Games. The four-time Olympian has played in 148 FIVB tournaments, winning seven and medaling in 23. Since first teaming up in 2017, Gibb and Crabb have played in 33 international tournaments, winning the 2019 Chetumal 4-star and taking bronze in Doha earlier this year.
Since the World Tour Finals’ creation in 2015, the United States has won three medals. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena took silver in the inaugural event and won the title in 2017. Bourne/John Hyden took bronze in 2016. No women’s team has finished on the podium.
Play in Cagliari begins on Wednesday, October 6 at 12:30 a.m. Pacific. Klineman/Ross take the sand at 1:30 a.m.