Hughes, Claes Advance in U21 Championships

By Jessica Hall | July 26, 2014, 11:21 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 26, 2014) - The U.S. beach volleyball team of Sarah Hughes and Kelly Claes advanced to the third round of the U21 World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus. 

Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Claes (Placentia, Calif.), seeded No. 12 in the main draw, defeated Italy’s No. 21 Agata Zuccarelli and Monica Lestini, 21-15, 21-19 in the second round to advance in the tournament. 

The duo will face Russia’s No. 8 Ksenia Dabizha and Anna Gorbunova on Sunday. 

The U.S. team of Alexa Strange (San Clemente, Calif.) and Delaney Knudsen (Valencia, Calif.), seeded No. 20, defeated Czech Republic’s No. 18 Nicole Dostalova and Anna Komarkova, 21-17, 21-13, to wrap up pool play. In round two, the tandem fell to Poland’s No. 2 Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszczynska, 21-11, 21-16. They finished the tournament ranked No. 9. 

On the men’s side, Branden Clemens (Carmel, Ind.) and Jackson Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), seeded No. 9, defeated Netherland’s No. 22 Jasper Bouter and Steven van de Velde, 21-13, 21-19, 15-11, and later fell to Norway’s No. 8 Christian Sandlie Sorum and Hendrik Nikolai Mol H, 21-13, 21-15. They finished the tournament ranked No. 9. 

World University Championships

The U.S. beach team of Brittany Tiegs and Jace Pardon advanced to the semifinals on Saturday in the Seventh World University Championships in Porto Portugal on Friday.

Tiegs (Stuart, Fla.) and Pardon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), competing in pool K, defeated Canada’s Zubick and Ellis, 21-12, 21-13, and had a bye. They will compete in the semifinals on Sunday against Norway’s Solvoll and Lunde. 

The duo of Angela Bensend (Plano, Texas) and Aurora Davis (Groveland, Fla.), competing in pool J, defeated Poland’s Soja and Filip, 23-21, 21-13, and later fell to Spain’s Gutierrez and Herrero, 21-17, 21-18, 15-5. The duo then defeated Latvia’s Sidorova and Embrekte, 21-9, 21-10. 

On the men’s side, Marty Lorenz (Spokane, Wash.) and Jeff Carlson (Newport Beach, Calif.), competing in pool B, defeated Slovakia’s Hovorka and Namesansky 25-23, 21-14, 15-12, and later fell to Russia’s Velichko and Velichko, 21-18, 21-19. 

Their U.S. teammates Connor Hughes (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Miles Evans (Santa Barbara, Calif.), competing in pool E, fell to Israel’s Ohana and Sanderovich, 23-21, 21-13, 15-11, and later defeated Portugal’s Pinto and Silva, 21-16, 21-9. 

The Semifinals will take place on Sunday.