Hughes, Claes Claim Bronze

By Jessica Hall | July 27, 2014, 10:50 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 27, 2014) - The U.S. beach volleyball team of Sarah Hughes and Kelly Claes claimed the bronze medal at the FIVB U21 World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus. 

Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Claes (Placentia, Calif.), seeded No. 12, defeated Switzerland’s No. 7 Nina Betschart and Nicole Eiholzer, 21-16, 23-21, 15-7 in the bronze medal match. 

It was the duo's second FIVB bronze medal after the team finished third at the U19 World Championships in Porto, Portugal last year. 

“After losing the semifinal, it was not easy to play another game in such a short amount of time,” Hughes said in an FIVB release. “But we had to focus quickly and the match was not easy winning in three sets.” 

The duo advanced to the third-place match after beating Russia’s No. 8 Ksenia Dabizha and Anna Gorbunova, 21-15, 23-21 in the third round and later falling to Lithuania’s No. 5 Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte, 21-19, 24-22, 15-7, in the semifinals. 

The U.S. team of Alexa Strange (San Clemente, Calif.) and Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif.) finished the tournament tied for ninth, as did the men’s team of Branden Clemens (Carmel, Ind.) and Jackson Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.). 

World University Championships

The U.S. women’s team of Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Brittany Tiegs (Stuart, Fla.) won gold at the World University Championships in Porto, Portugal, after defeating Germany, 21-18, 21-12, in the finals.