COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On the NORCECA Continental Tour, the U.S. earned its 13th women’s and 11th men’s medals of the season, in Varadero, Cuba.
Betsi Metter and Kelley Larsen earned their fourth medal of the year and second silver. Miles Evans and Spencer McLachlin took bronze, their best finish on the year.
The finishes this week in Cuba mark just the third time in 2016, and since Nov., 2014, that a U.S. team in either gender did not earn a gold medal. The U.S. leads all countries in medal count on this year’s tour, including for gold for the women, who have accumulated five among four teams.
In their fourth NORCECA event of the year, Metter and Larsen opened the weekend with a 2-1 record in pool play. In the quarterfinals, the duo faced USA’s Skylar Caputo and Corinne Quiggle, beating them 21-23, 21-12, 18-16.
In the semifinals, Metter/Larsen topped Canada’s Brandi Wilkerson/Julie Gordon in two, 21-18, 21-17, setting up the gold medal match against the host country. It marked Metter and Larsen’s third trip to the gold medal match this season, this time for a consecutive silver medal after falling to Cuba’s Yanisleidis Sanchez/Lidiannis Echeverria, 13-21, 21-19, 15-10.
Caputo and Quiggle, in their debut NORCECA event, were 2-1 after pool play before falling in the quarterfinal. From there they defeated Mexico from the loser’s bracket, 21-13, 21-8 to earn a spot in the fifth-place match. For fifth, they beat Canada in two, 21-9, 21-14.
Evans and McLachlin followed their female counterparts, going 2-1 in pool play as well. In the quarterfinals, the duo dispatched the Virgin Islands in two sets before falling in three to Canada’s top team of Mike Plantinga/Cam Wheelan in the semifinal, 19-21, 21-12, 15-10.
For the third time in 2016, Evans and McLachlin found themselves in the bronze medal match, this time turning it around to reach the podium. The duo beat Cuba’s 10-seed Liosbel Mendez/Yendris Castillo, 21-12, 21-18.
There are four events remaining on the 2016 NORCECA Continental Tour.
Women | Varadero, July 15-17
1. Yanisleidis Sanchez/Lidiannis Echeverria, CUB
2. Betsi Metter/Kelley Larsen
3. Brandie Wilkerson/Julie Gordon CAN
5. Skylar Caputo/Corinne Quiggle
Men | Varadero, July 15-17
1. Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez CUB
2. Mike Plantinga/Cam Wheelan CAN
3. Miles Evans/Spencer McLachlin