Seven U.S. Beach Teams to Compete in La Paz
Five women’s U.S. beach teams and two men’s begin play Friday in the main draw of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in La Paz, Mexico
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 20, 2023) – The second-seeded U.S. beach team of Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss ended the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour La Paz Challenge with the gold medals after beating the U.S. team of Savvy Simo/Toni Rodriguez in the final.
Kloth/Nuss won the final in two sets (21-16, 21-13) to claim the title.
Kloth/Nuss trailed until the middle of the opening set, when they found their rhythm, took control and never looked back.
“What a battle,” Nuss reflected. “Hats off to our fellow Americans, what a game and what a tournament they had. We got into the final knowing it was going to be a very tough match and only focused on our side of the net. The atmosphere here in La Paz has been absolutely unreal and this is what beach volleyball is about. We loved it.”
Playing in their second international season, Kloth/Nuss have already secured their third Beach Pro Tour title, following victories at last year’s Kuşadası Challenge, in Türkiye, and Coolangatta Futures, in Australia. Kloth/Nuss have played in 11 international tournaments and never finished outside of the top 10.
“It was a very difficult tournament,” Kloth said. “There were so many great teams playing and a lot of three-set matches that could really have gone either way. And the fans were amazing, there was such a great turnout to every single match that we played. It was such a fun tournament.”
Simo/Rodriguez started in Thursday’s qualifier and advanced all the way to Sunday’s final. The La Paz Challenge was their second Beach Pro Tour event and the first in which they qualified for the main draw.
Among other U.S. teams who competed in the La Paz main draw, Sara Hughes/Kelly Cheng finished tied for fifth place as did the men’s team of Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner.
The women’s teams of Kelley Kolinske/Hailey Harward and Megan Kraft/Emily Stockman each finished tied for ninth. The men’s team of Tri Bourne/Chaim Schalk finished tied for 19th.
The U.S. teams of Sarah Schermerhorn/Corinne Quiggle, Jessica Gaffney/Zana Muno, Bill Kolinske/Hagen Smith and Logan Webber/Evan Cory competed in the qualifier but did not advance.
FUTURES – MOUNT MAUNGANUI BEACH, NEW ZEALAND
Indoor Olympian David McKienzie partnered with Ben Vaught to take bronze at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event in Mount Maunganui Beach, New Zealand.
McKienzie/Vaught fought through two qualifying matches and then went 1-1 in pool play. They advanced to the Round of 12, where they beat New Zealand’s Ben Hood/Lucas Josefsen (17-21, 23-21, 15-12).
In the quarterfinals, McKienzie/Vaught beat New Zealand’s Thomas Reid/John McManaway (21-15, 21-19. McKienzie/Vaught lost to China’s Likejiang Ha/Jiaxin Wu, the eventual tournament winners (24-22, 21-14).
In the third-place match, McKienzie/Vaught beat New Zealand’s Thomas Hartles/Thomas Heijs (21-14, 21-11).
ELITE 16 – TEPIC, MEXICO
Six U.S. women’s beach teams and two men’s teams are scheduled to compete this week at the Beach Tour Elite 16 in Tepic, Mexico.
Women’s Main Draw
No. 5 Sara Hughes/Kelly Cheng
No. 6 Julia Scoles/Betsi Flint
No. 11 Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil
No. 1 Kristen Nuss/Taryn Kloth
No. 11 Kelley Kolinske/Hailey Harward
No. 13 Megan Kraft/Emily Stockman
No. 6 Chaim Schalk/Tri Bourne
No. 7 Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner
Qualifying will take place March 22. Main draw play begins March 23 and matches are being livestreamed on VolleyballWorld.tv.