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Beach HPC Wraps Up with Final Championships

By Darci Miller | July 21, 2013, 9:11 p.m. (ET)

Darci Miller, USA Volleyball Communications Intern, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email: darci.miller@usav.org
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USAV Beach High Performance Championships Event Page
USAV Beach High Performance Championships Results/Schedules

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (July 21, 2013) – The 2013 USA Volleyball Beach High Performance Championships (Beach HPC) concluded on Saturday with medals handed out in the girls’ under-15 (U15) and girls’ and boys’ under-19 divisions in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Topping the podiums in the U19 divisions were the teams of Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kelly Claes (Fullerton, Calif.) in the women's bracket and T.J. DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lucas Yoder (San Clemente, Calif.) in the men's. 

Both teams recently won bronze at the FIVB U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Porto, Portugal.

“It was a great experience to go to a European country and play my first international event, and then get a bronze,” DeFalco said. “It was very fun." 

Hughes and Claes said they still felt a little jet-lagged at the HP Championships, but that similar weather conditions in Porto and Hermosa Beach helped them readjust to playing on American soil.

“After the first two pool play matches we got back into it,” Hughes said. “But I think we did fine for coming back from a foreign country."

Hughes has traveled as part of a U.S. national team before, but this was Claes’ first international tournament.

“It was pretty incredible,” Claes said. “It was the first time I left the country, so the whole experience was just amazing. So much fun.”

Though neither team had much time for sightseeing, Hughes knew several foreign players from past tournaments and said she enjoyed the camaraderie.

“I like to meet as many people as possible,” she said. “I met a girl from Nigeria and we became really good friends, and we've been talking on Facebook ever since.”

Both teams are glad to be back home in California and even happier to be atop the podium.

“It means a lot, just because we are the U.S. national team,” Hughes said. “We wanted to come to this tournament and crush teams, show them who’s boss, and we did!

“This tournament is amazing. Four years ago it was like three teams and now we have 46 [in the girls’ U19 division]. It’s incredible.”

Hughes and Claes (9-0) defeated fellow U19 national team members Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif.) and Skylar Caputo (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), 21-12, 21-5, to earn gold. Knudsen and Caputo finished the tournament with a record of 8-1. The team of Nicole and Megan McNamara (Vancouver, Canada) earned bronze with an 8-1 record.

DeFalco and Yoder (9-0) earned gold with an 18-21, 21-17, 15-8 win over Oliver Martin (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and Hagen Smith (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), who went 7-2. The duo of Jake MacNeil (Georgetown, Canada) and Liam Kopp (St. Catherine’s, Canada) won bronze with an 8-1 record.

In the girls’ U15 division, Cami Sanchez (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lindsey Sparks (Huntington Beach, Calif.) took the top spot with a 21-12, 21-11 win over Alexis Cardoza (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Hannah Phair (Huntington Beach, Calif.).

“We were pretty excited,” Sanchez said. “It’s amazing. It was a lot of work.”

Sanchez and Sparks finished the tournament with an 8-0 record, while Cardoza and Phair went 7-1. The duo of Haley Hallgren (Southlake, Texas) and Pippa Monk (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) earned bronze with a record of 8-1.

For match schedules and results, click here.

2013 USA Volleyball Beach High Performance Championships
U15 Girls: Gold - Cami Sanchez (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lindsey Sparks (Huntington Beach, Calif.); Silver - Alexis Cardoza (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Hannah Phair (Huntington Beach, Calif.); Bronze - Haley Hallgren (Southlake, Texas) and Pippa Monk (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
U17 Girls: Gold - Lindsey Knudsen (Valencia, Calif.) and Abril Bustamante (Redondo Beach, Calif.); Silver - Kaylie McHugh (Davie, Fla.) and Julia Lewkowicz (Coral Springs, Fla.); Bronze - Natalie Anselmo (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Olivia Zelon (Santa Monica, Calif.)
U19 Girls: Gold - Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kelly Claes (Fullerton, Calif.); Silver - Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif.) and Skylar Caputo (Manhattan Beach, Calif.); Bronze - Nicole and Megan McNamara (Vancouver, Canada)
U21 Women: Gold - Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif.); Silver - Sophie Asprey (Dallas, Texas) and Becca Strehlow (Long Beach, Calif.); Bronze - Kamila Tan (San Diego, Calif.) and Emily Podschweit (Denver, Colo.)
U26 Women: Gold - Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Caitlin Ledoux (Phelan, Calif.); Silver - Leah Hinkey (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Emily Stockman (Hermosa Beach, Calif.); Bronze - Kirby Burnham (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Meg Norton (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
U15 Boys: Gold - Luke Grafton (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Dane Johnson (Manhattan Beach, Calif.); Silver - Logan Glave (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) and Niko Forbes (Manhattan Beach, Calif.); Bronze - Luke Salm (Trinity, Fla.) and Ethan Shinn (Wellington, Fla.)
U17 Boys: Gold - Andrew Kos (Toronto, Canada) and Zach Albert (Toronto, Canada); Silver - Kyle Skinner (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) and Matt Yoshimoto (Oxnard, Calif.); Bronze - Jacob Brantley (Ashburn, Va.) and Taylor Ho (Foster City, Calif.)
U19 Boys: Gold - T.J. DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lucas Yoder (San Clemente, Calif.); Silver - Oliver Martin (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and Hagen Smith (Pacific Palisades, Calif.); Bronze - Jake MacNeil (Georgetown, Canada) and Liam Kopp (St. Catherine’s, Canada)
U21 Men: Gold - Branden Clemens (Carmel, Ind.) and Chris Long (Tustin, Calif.); Silver - Brendan Duff (Carmel, Ind.) and Cody Martin (Tucson, Ariz.); Bronze - Skyler McCoy (Long Beach, Calif.) and Austin Rysyk (San Jose, Calif.)
U26 Men: Gold - Adam Cabbage (Rio Ranchero, N.M.) and Rob Page (Rochester, N.Y.); Silver - Kyle Stevenson (Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Martin Lorenz (Spokane, Wash.); Bronze - Weston Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Kevin Villea (Glendale, Ariz.)

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