COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 9, 2021) – Members of the U.S. Beach National Team wrapped up a FIVB World Tour four-star event in Gstaad, Switzerland, Friday, a tournament that served as the final Olympic tune-up for Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil.
Four pairs, including Claes/Sponcil reached the tournament’s knockout rounds. The Olympic nominees advanced the furthest, winning in the Round of 24 before dropping a 2-0 decision to Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka in the Round of 16. Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman also reached the women’s Round of 24, falling to Brazilian duo Ana Patricia Silva Ramos/Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva in two sets.
Two American men’s pairs also earned spots in the knockout stages. Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb battled against Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler of Germany. The Germans took the first set 21-19 and held a late lead in the second. Bourne/Crabb rallied and pushed the frame into extra points, but Thole/Wickler prevailed 25-23 to complete the sweep. Meanwhile, Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk lost to Adrian Heidrich/Mirco Gerson, a Swiss team playing in their home tournament.
Corinne Quiggle/Allie Wheeler successfully navigated Gstaad’s qualifier and earned a berth in the main draw, the first four-star main draw for either player. Their run came to an end in pool play, however, after facing Kolinske/Stockman in an elimination match. Emily Day/Sara Hughes also exited the tournament after pool play.
Claes/Sponcil will next take the court later this month in Tokyo for the Olympic Games July 24-August 6, but many of the other teams that competed in Gstaad will play in tournaments before then. There are tournaments in Rubavu, Rwanda (July 14-18), and Leuven, Germany (July 15-18) and two in Sofia, Bulgaria (July 15-18, July 22-25).