U.S. Beach Teams Win 3 NORCECA Medals

By BJ Evans | May 05, 2014, 5:27 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 5, 2014) – U.S. beach teams won a medal of each color on Sunday at the NORCECA Continental Tour event in Guatemala.

Heather Hughes and Christal Engle
   Heather Hughes, middle, and Christal Engle, right, shake hands
  with Karen Cope of Costa Rica after their match was ended.

Christal Engle (Pallyup, Wash.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) won the women’s gold medal while Tealle Hunkus (Girard, Ohio) and Kim (McGiven) Dicello (San Diego) took bronze.

On the men’s side, Will Montgomery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.) won the silver medal while Derek Olson (Eugene, Ore.) and Kevin McColloch (Solano Beach, Calif.) placed fourth.

In the women’s gold medal match, Christal Engle (Pallyup, Wash.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) defeated Karen Cope and Natalia Alfaro of Costa Rica, 21-14, 24-26, 15-0.

Hughes and Engle took the gold without having to finish the third set after Alfaro suffered a bee sting and was unable to continue.

“We feel bad for them and it doesn’t feel the same winning this way,” Engle said. “Costa Rica had a great tournament, showing incredible defense, even so we’re content with the gold.”

Hughes praised Costa Rica’s efforts and improvement.

“We faced them in Cayman Islands and they played much better here; I believe this is the best we’ve seen them.”

In their semifinal, Hughes and Engle defeated Cubans Lianma Flores and Leila Martinez, 21-16, 22-24, 15-9.

In the other semifinal, Cope and Alvaro defeated Tealle Hunkus (Girard, Ohio) and Kim (McGiven) Dicello (San Diego), 21-13, 11-21, 15-13. Hunkus and Dicello won the bronze medal, defeating Flores and Martinez, 21-15, 21-17.

In the men’s gold medal match, Montgomery and Slick fell to Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez, 21-17, 21-15. Montgomery and Slick reached the final by defeating their compatriots Olson and McColloch in the semifinal, 19-21, 21-17, 19-17. Olson and McColloch fell to Puerto Rico’s Roberto Rodriguez and Erik Haddock in the bronze medal match, 21-14, 21-18.