Hughes, Claes Undefeated in U21 Championships

By Jessica Hall | July 25, 2014, 2:22 p.m. (ET)

Colorado Springs, Colo. (July 25, 2014) – The U.S. beach volleyball team of Sarah Hughes and Kelly Claes went 2-0 in pool play on Friday to remain unbeaten in the U21 World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus.

Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Claes (Placentia, Calif.), seeded No. 12 in the main draw, opened the second day of pool play defeating Norway’s No.13 Victoria Kjolberg and Benedicte Maaseide, 21-8, 21-13, and beat Belarus’s No. 36 Valeryia Babenka and Yana Mileuskaya, 21-6, 21-13.

The duo will face Cyprus’s No. 1 Zoi Konstantopoulou and Ioanna Leonidou on Saturday to wrap up pool play.

The U.S. team of Alexa Strange (San Clemente, Calif.) and Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif.) seeded No. 20, defeated Ukraine’s No. 31 Elizaveta Sulima and Dar’ya Udovenko, 21-19, 21-16, and beat Greece’s No. 19 Ioanna Parisaki and Dimitra Manavi, 21-18, 21-19, 15-13. They will wrap up pool play on Saturday with a match against Czech Republic’s No. 18 Nicole Dostalova and Anna Komarkova.

On the men’s side, Branden Clemens (Carmel, Ind.) and Jackson Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), seeded No. 9, defeated Saint Lucia’s No. 16 Sheldon Descartes and Darnel Eudoxie, 21-5, 21-11, and later fell to Ukraine’s No. 33 Yuriy Bokshan and Mykola Khomyn, 24-22, 21-18.

They will face Poland’s No. 4 Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak on Saturday.

The U.S. team of Hagen Smith (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and Christopher Orenic (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), seeded No. 26, fell to Mexico’s No. 35 Jose Jurado Valencia and Miguel Angel Cardenas, 21-11, 26-24, and later fell to Spain’s No. 23 Adrian Valles and Oscar Prades, 21-15, 23-21. The duo will match up against Australia’s No. 14 Tim Dickson and Malachi Murch on Saturday.

World University Championships

Four U.S. beach teams continue competition in the Seventh World University Championships in Porto Portugal on Thursday.

The U.S. beach team of Marty Lorenz (Spokane, Wash.) and Jeff Carlson (Newport Beach, Calif.), competing in pool B, battled Switzerland’s Stadelmann and Sutter to a 21-13, 21-19, 15-11 victory to finish pool play with a record of 2-1.

Their U.S. teammates Connor Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Miles Evans (Santa Barbara, Calif.), competing in pool E, fell to Austria’s Dressler and Kunert, 21-19, 21-17, 15-10, to wrap up pool play with a 2-1 record.

On the women’s side, Brittany Tiegs (Stuart, Fla.) and Jace Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), competing in pool K, defeated China’s Feng and Xu, 21-6, 21-7, to finish pool play 2-1.

The duo of Angela Bensend (Plano, Texas) and Aurora Davis (Groveland, Fla.), competing in pool J, fell to Portugal’s Couto and Hurst, 21-18, 23-21, 15-12, to finish pool play 1-2.

Round one of the tournament will begin Friday.