Four U.S. Beach Teams Set for U21 World Championships

By Jessica Hall | July 22, 2014, 4:31 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 22, 2014) – Larnaka, Cyprus will serve as the site for the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships, where four U.S. teams will compete for the title.

Cyprus has hosted several FIVB Challenger and Satellite events but this will be the second event held in Larnaka.

The U21 Worlds will take place July 23-27.

On the sand, the U.S. men will be represented by the duo of Branden Clemens (Carmel, Ind.) and Jackson Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and the team of Hagen Smith (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and Christopher Orenic (Manhattan Beach, Calif.).

Seeded No. 1 in the qualification bracket, Smith and Orenic will have a first-round bye and play the winner of the match between Turkey’s No. 17 Sefa Urlu and Yasin Baysal and Australia’s No. 16 Simon Gray and Regan Fathers.

Clemens and Bantle will enter straight into the main draw starting July 24.

On the women’s side, Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kelly Claes (Placentia, Calif.) along with Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif.) and Alexa Strange (San Clemente, Calif.) will represent the U.S.

Knudsen and Stranged, seeded No. 10 in the qualification bracket, will have a first-round bye and take on Russia’s No. 7 Nadezda Makroguzova and Daria Rudykh in round two.

Hughes and Claes will enter straight into the main draw beginning on July 24.

Branden Clemens

College: Harvard

Hometown: Carmel, Ind.

Age: 20

Placed ninth at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Croatia.

William Jackson Bantle

College: UCLA

Hometown: Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Age: 19

Has earned 25 medals in AAU and CBVA tournaments.

Hagen Smith

College: UCLA

Hometown: Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Age: 19

Played club for the Manhattan Beach Surf, which won the 2012 SCVA 17s Boys Invitational.

Christopher Orenic

College: USC

Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Age: 20

Led his Southern California Volleyball Club team to the 2012 U.S. Junior Olympics 18 Open Gold Division and won a silver medal.

Sara Hughes

College: USC

Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.

Age: 19

Won a bronze medal at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Portugal in 2013. Won the 2014 AVCA Sand Volleyball Pairs Championship with partner Kirby Burnham.

Kelly Claes
College: USC

Hometown: Placentia, Calif.

Age: 18

Won a bronze medal at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Portugal in 2013 with Hughes. Participated in the 2014 AVCA Sand Volleyball Championships.

Delaney Knudsen

College:  Pepperdine

Hometown: Valencia, Calif.

Age: 18

Placed ninth at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Portugal in 2013.  Participated in the 2014 AVCA Sand Volleyball Championships.

Alexa Strange

College: USC

Hometown: San Clemente, Calif.

Age: 20

Placed ninth at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Croatia in 2013. Participated in the 2014 AVCA Sand Volleyball Championships. 

Comments