Beach Teams Set For Action At U23 Worlds In Poland

By Tyson Rodgers | June 09, 2014, 5:42 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 9, 2014) – Myslowice, Poland will once again serve as the setting for the FIVB Under-23 World Championships on June 10-15, as USAV has sent five beach volleyball teams to the second-annual tourney.

The event will feature pool play followed by single-elimination knockout rounds. The U.S. has one team each entered into the men’s and women’s main draw, while one men’s team and two women’s teams will have to play qualifying matches to advance to the main draw.

The returning team of Alex Jones (Sunnydale, Calif.) and Kyle Stevenson (Santa Monica, Calif.) will be in the men’s main draw of the championship, while newcomers Clay Paullin (Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Skyler McCoy (Long Beach, Calif.) will compete in the qualifying bracket.    

On the women’s side, Lara Dykstra (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) will open in the main draw, while the teams of Sara Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kellie Woolever (Long Beach, Calif.) along with Kelley Larsen (Jamul, Calif.) and Betsi Metter (Phoenix, Ariz.) will start out in the qualifiers.

Alex Jones
Hometown: Sunnyvale, Calif.
Birth Year: 1992
Height: 6-4
College: Cal State Northridge
In 2012, the duo of Jones and Kyle Stevenson competed in the U21 World Championship and the NORCECA beach volleyball tournaments, finishing fifth and 10th respectively. The pair teamed up again in 2013 for the U23 Worlds, finishing tied for 17th overall. 

Kyle Stevenson
Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.
Birth Year: 1992
Height: 6-4
College: Cal State Northridge
Stevenson began playing beach volleyball internationally in 2009 at the U19 World Championship in Alanya, Turkey, where he finished tied for 17th with partner Parker Kalmbach. The duo of Jones-Stevenson finished the 2012 U21 World Championships in fifth.

Clay Paullin
Hometown: Palos Verdes, Calif.
Birth Year: 1992
Height: 6-8
College: UCLA
Paullin has played two tournaments in the sand, competing alongside current partner Skyler McCoy. In 2013, the duo finished 17th at the National Volleyball League Hermosa Beach tourney. On the AVP Tour, Paullin-McCoy finished 33rd at the Manhattan Beach Open.

Skyler McCoy
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
Birth Year: 1993
Height: 6-2
College: Cal State Northridge
In 2011, McCoy finished tied for 19th at the U19 World Championship in Umag, Croatia, before returning in 2013 for the U21 World Championship and finishing tied for 41st overall. McCoy finished ninth at the 2014 NORCECA beach volleyball tournament in Manzanillo, Mexico.

Lara Dykstra
Hometown: Redondo Beach, Calif.
Birth year: 1993
Height: 5-10
College: Pepperdine
With college-teammate Becca Strehlow, the former Wave finished 25th at the 2013 U21 World Championship in Umag, Croatia. Dykstra won the 2014 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship team title with Pepperdine, she was also a two-time AVCA All-American in the sand with the Waves.

Jace Pardon
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Birth Year: 1993
Height: 5-10
College: Florida State
In 2013, the former Seminole finished tied for ninth at the U21 World Championship in Umag, Croatia. Pardon finished tied 17th-overall at the 2012 U21 Worlds in Halifax Canada. She was named an AVCA All-American in her sophomore and junior seasons at FSU.

Sara Hughes
Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.
Birth Year: 1995
Height: 5-10
College: University of Southern California
At the 2013 U19 World Championship in Porto, Portugal, Hughes finished third with USC-teammate Kelly Claes. Hughes has competed in two NORCECA events finishing seventh in 2012 and first in 2013. In 2012, she placed ninth and fourth overall at the U19 Worlds in Lanarka, Cyprus and U21 Worlds in Halifax, Canada. Hughes nabbed a ninth-place finish at the U19 Worlds in 2011, while finishing 25th at the U21 Worlds the same year.

Kellie Woolever
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
Birth Year: 1992
Height: 6-0
College: Pepperdine
The former Pepperdine Wave was a two-time AVCA All-American in both the sand and indoor, while capturing two AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National titles in 2012 and 2014. Woolever was a member of the U.S. Volleyball High Performance Youth Division team in 2007.

Kelley Larsen
Hometown: Jamul, Calif.
Birth Year: 1992
Height: 6-2
College: Pepperdine
In three seasons with Pepperdine played indoor and sand volleyball for the Waves, becoming a two-time AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Champion in 2012 and 2014 alongside former college teammate Kellie Woolever. The Woolever-Larsen combo went 50-5 (.909) in two seasons at Pepperdine, ranking first in career winning percentage in the program’s history. Larsen was named an AVCA Sand Volleyball All-American in 2014

Betsi Metter
Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
Birth Year: 1992
Height: 5-10
College: Loyola Marymount
Metter was named the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 and 2013, while earning co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. She garnered honorable mention All-West Coast Conference honors her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.  She finished her career at LMU as the all-time leader in digs and aces, while earning fourth all-time in digs in WCC history.

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