COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States was shut out of gold medals for both the men’s and women’s side for the second time on the NORCECA Continental Tour this season. From Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, two women’s teams fought for positioning on the podium.
Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen finished with silver and were joined on the podium by Geena Urango and Angela Bensend, who earned bronze. In their fifth medal of the season, Taylor and Trevor Crabb picked up their first silver.
Now with three NORCECA tournaments under their belts, Flint and Larsen have earned a medal of each color in their outings. For second place, the pair fell to Cuba’s Lianma Flores and Leila Martinez 21-16, 21-19. To reach the final, the duo opened a clean 3-0 in pool play before a win in the quarterfinals that set them up for a matchup against Urango and Bensend. During the semifinals, Flint/Larsen beat their country mates a second time during the tournament, the first in pool, this time by a score of 22-20, 24-22.
Urango and Bensend opened 2-1 and rallied from their semifinal loss to top Canada’s Julie Gordon/Brandie Wilkerson for bronze, 21-15, 22-20. The victory is the first international medal for both.
For the men, the Crabb brothers were scheduled in a pool of five teams and came out unscathed, 4-0. Ed Ratledge and Ty Loomis were 3-1 after pool play, both teams came away with wins in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the Crabbs topped Ratledge/Loomis 21-19, 24-22 to head to the finale. There they lost their first gold medal match of the season, 21-16, 16-21, 15-12, to Cuba’s Karell Pena/Daicel Quesada.
Ratledge and Loomis also fell in their final match of the tournament, losing a chance for bronze to Mexico’s Josue Gaxiola/Jose Rubio, 21-19, 15-21, 15-13.
Changes have been made to the NORCECA Continental Tour, including the cancelation of several events. The Tour is scheduled to continue July 1-3 in North Bay, Canada.
Women | Punta Cana, April 29 – May 1
1. Leila Martinez/Lianma Flores CUB
2. Betsi Flint/Kelley Larsen
3. Geena Urango/Angela Bensend
Men | Punta Cana, April 29 – May 1
1. Karell Pena/Daicel Quesada CUB
2. Taylor Crabb/Trevor Crabb
3. Jose Rubio/Josue Gaxiola MEX
4. Ed Ratledge/Ty Loomis