Hughes and Nielsen Place Fourth at Anapa Open

By Darci Miller | July 27, 2013, 11:15 p.m. (ET)

Darci Miller, USA Volleyball Communications Intern, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email:
USAV Facebook * @USA_Volleyball * @USAV Beach

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 27, 2013) – The U.S. beach volleyball team of Heather Hughes and Kaitlin Sather Nielsen earned a fourth-place finish at the FIVB Anapa Open, held in Anapa, Russia.

 The United States' Kaitlin Sather Nielsen, right, attacks against
 Russia's Svetlana Popova.

After winning three matches on Friday, Hughes (Torrance, Calif.) and Nielsen (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) advanced to Saturday's semifinals where they fell to Russia's Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova, the tournament's No. 1 seeds, 21-23, 21-19, 15-6 in 1 hour, 3 minutes.

Hughes and Nielsen moved on to the bronze medal match where they lost to Russia’s No. 6 Maria Prokopeva and Svetlana Popova 21-16, 21-12 in 40 minutes Ukolova and Khomyakova went on to win the tournament while Teresa Mersmann and Isabel Schneider of Germany took silver.

The No. 29 men’s duo of Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Avery Drost (Hawthorne, Calif.) finished the tournament tied for 17th after falling to Ukraine’s No. 5 Popov Sergiy and Valeriy Samoday, 21-14, 21-16 in the first round of single elimination. 

The men’s bracket wraps up the competition on Sunday with the semifinal and final rounds.

Montgomery and Drost are registered to compete next in the FIVB Grand Slam tournaments in Berlin and Moscow.

For more information on the Anapa Open, click here.