U.S. Men's Beach Team Secures Silver

April 12, 2009, 11:47 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800               
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 12, 2009) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Mike Bruning (Tucson, Ariz.) and Jason Wight (West Springfield, Va.) took silver on Sunday at the Boca Chica Tournament in Dominican Republic, which was part of the NORCECA Circuit.

The men’s gold went to Cuba’s Sergio Gonzalez and Karell Peña, who defeated Bruning and Wight, 21-16, 21-17.

“This is big thrill,” Gonzalez said. “We knew we had to play hard because the Americans are a good team. My partner and I have been playing for three months but we have worked hard and with desire you can accomplish a lot.”

Bruning and Wight won the gold medal two weeks ago at the NORCECA event in Cayman Islands by defeating Gonzalez and Peña. Last week, Gonzalez and Peña finished second to Americans Hans Stolfus (Solon, Iowa) and Anthony Medel (Santa Barbara, Calif.).

Bruning and Wight defeated Puerto Ricans Orlando Irizarry and Roberto Rodriguez, 21-18, 18-21, 15-12, in the semifinals.

The U.S. women’s team of Jenelle Koester (Beason, Ill.) and Angela Knopf (Troutdale, Ore.) finished fifth after losing in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Cubans Nirian Sinal and Kirenia Ballard won their third crown in as many tries on Sunday.

 The Cuban women pair followed their success in the events of Cayman Islands and Guatemala with a 21-17, 21-14 victory over Costa Ricans Ingrid Morales and Natalia Alfaro in the final match.

 Complete results are available on the NORCECA web site at www.norceca.org/2009_%20Beach%20Volleyball%20Circuit.htm.