U.S. Beach Teams Own Mexico Podiums
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 10, 2013) – Both the U.S. men’s beach team of Casey Jennings and Stafford Slick along with the women’s beach team of Emily Day and Whitney Pavlik captured gold medals on Sunday at the fourth stop of the 2013 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Toluca, Mexico.
In the men’s gold-match, Slick (Andover, Minn.) and Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) battled through a three-set victory (21-17, 16-21, 17-15) defeating Mexico’s two-time defending champions Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen.
“It's my first NORCECA tournament title in Mexico,” Slick said in a NORCECA press release. “It is a good time for us; I really like the game. Mexico has a great team and it was a great game.”
For the women’s finals, Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.), recovered from a first-set loss to defeat Martha Revuelta and Bibiana Candelas of Mexico (15-21, 21-15, 17-15) in a sold out stadium packed with Revuelta and Candelas fans.
Effective blocking and defense were two components that led Day and Pavlik to the top of the podium.
"Mexico has a very good team and we had to plan our game well because it was a very difficult match," Day said in a NORCECA press release.
"It's wonderful to play in Mexico, as they are developing and promoting volleyball, and have great teams," Pavlik added.
Both the men’s and women’s gold winners finished the first day of pool play with 1-1 records but scrapped to the semifinals. There, Day and Pavlik eliminated compatriots Summer Ross (San Diego, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) in three sets (21-16, 18-21, 15-9) to advance to the finals. Meanwhile, Slick and Jennings outlasted Puerto Rico’s Roberto Rodriguez and Hector Soto (21-19, 21-23, 16-14) to move on to the championship match.
The U.S. men’s team of Brad Keenan (Westminster, Calif.) and John Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) fell to O’Gorman and Pedlow of Canada’s in the quarterfinals.
As a country, this marks the second gold medal won by the U.S. women’s beach teams and the U.S. men’s first gold medal in the 2013 NORCECA Beach Circuit. Jennifer Fompa (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.), won the gold during the second stop of the circuit in the Dominican Republic.
The fifth leg of the tour is set for Aug. 21-26 in Cuba.