COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 19, 2012) – U.S. beach volleyball teams swept the gold medals for a second straight NORCECA Beach Circuit event on Sunday.
For the women, the U.S. team of Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) defeated compatriots Tealle Hunkus (Girard, Ohio) and Traci Weamer (Upland, Calif.) in the gold medal match, 21-17, 21-15 on Sunday.
On the men’s side, the U.S. pair of Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) beat Nicaragua’s Gerald Umana and Henry Hernandez for the gold medal, 21-10, 21-11 on Sunday.
The U.S. men’s team of Weston Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Curt Toppel (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), who lost on Saturday, won a Sunday consolation match to make it to the bronze medal contest, where it lost to Trinidad & Tobago’s Fabien Whitfield and Daneil Williams, 27-25, 19-21, 15-13.
Day and Ross continued a string of three straight NORCECA beach victories for U.S. women. In September, she and partner Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) won the gold at the event in Chula Vista, Calif. At the next event in October in St. Lucia, Weamer took gold with partner Kathryn Piening (Kalamazoo, Mich.).
“We trained a lot together back in Los Angeles so we knew what to expect and knew it was going to be a tough match,” Day said. “In addition, for the United States to finish one-two, we are very happy as this was our main goal coming into the tournament.”
Montgomery won a silver medal in Chula Vista with partner Tri Bourne before taking gold in St. Lucia with Jon Mesko (Traverse City, Mich.). Ciarelli won silver in St. Lucia with Jeff Carlson (Newport Beach, Calif.).
“The Nicaraguans are a very good team and made us work for every point, but in the end we were very grateful for the victory,” Ciarelli said.
In the men’s semifinals, Montgomery and Ciarelli defeated Whitfield and Williams, 21-11, 21-17. Carico and Toppel fell to Umana and Hernandez, 17-21, 21-18, 18-16.
Ciarelli praised Whitfield and Williams as well as St. Lucians, Julian Biscette and Joseph Clercent.
“We played the T&T team in St. Lucia two weeks ago and compared to what they did this weekend, they have improved a whole lot,” he said.
“We also played against St Lucia in Chula Vista and from then to now you can tell that they have been training a lot; and if both teams keep it up I can surely see them being major threats on the tour and event in contention for Olympic qualifying places in the future.”
In the women’s semifinals, Day and Ross defeated Costa Rica’s Ingrid Morales and Natalia Alfaro, 21-16, 21-6. Hunkus and Weamer stopped Trinidad & Tobago’s Nancy Joseph and Ayana Dyette, 21-18, 21-12.
More information about the NORECA Beach Circuit is available on the NORCECA web site.