Two pairs of siblings top the field for the USA Volleyball Beach HP U19 World Trials held at the Chula Vista (Calif.) Elite Athlete Training Center on Dec. 29-30.
Twins Audrey and Nicole Nourse and brothers Marcus and Miles Partain are among the 30 teams attempting to qualify for the 2018 FIVB U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships held July 10-15 in Nanjing, China.
The top team qualifies for the U19 Worlds, the second- and third-place teams will also be up for consideration, if the FIVB awards the U.S. a second spot.
This past July, the Partain brothers played in the 2017 FIVB U21 World Championships, which were also in Nanjing. Marcus was 17 and Miles was just 15. They defeated older teams from Canada and China before being knocked out by Russia.
“The teams are really tough,” Marcus told the Los Angeles Daily News. “The games are really long and tiring, trying to stay mentally tough through the whole thing. If you make a mistake, get the next point.”
The two high schoolers, both just 6-1, were not done making waves last summer.
The brothers became the youngest team ever to make it into the main draw of an AVP event, after winning three matches on qualifying day at the 2017 AVP Hermosa Beach stop.
The Nourse twins, Audrey and Nicole, have also had strong success heading into the U19 World Trials. Nicole paired with Maddi Kriz to win the U17 division at this summer’s USA Junior Beach Championships. Audrey finished second in the event with her then partner Kyla Doig.
“When we play together, a huge advantage – over pretty much everything else – is our chemistry,” said Audrey to FOX Sports West. “Our chemistry is really the backbone of our success.”
Another advantage … Audrey is right-handed and Nicole is left-handed.
“I definitely have more of a passion for the game with my sister,” Nicole said. “Just because, playing with her is such an advantage for us. And also it just the most fun.”
The pair is coached by three-time Olympic beach legend Holly McPeak.
“I really have to give it to her,” Nicole said. “Because she has really formed our game into what it is today.”
Other Top Teams to Watch
- Jason Gibbs / Dane Johnson … 2017 USA Junior Beach champions in the U19 division
- Tim Brewster / John Schwengel … both medaled at the 2017 USA Junior Beach Championships
- Devon Newberry / Lindsey Sparks … competed at the 2017 AVP Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach Opens; both members of the 2017 A1 Beach HP program
- Jayelin Lombard / Keara Rutz … competed at the AVP Hermosa Beach Open
Saturday, Dec. 30
- Men’s gold medal, 2p, Court 3
- Men’s bronze medal, 2p, Court 4
- Women’s gold medal, 3p, Court 1
- Women’s bronze medal, 3p, Court 2