It wasn’t the color medal they wanted, but Alix Klineman has her first world championship medal and Olympic medalist April Ross has her third.
Ross and Klineman were defeated by Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes in the gold-medal match at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Saturday, settling for second after a hard-fought match that ended in a straight-set loss against the Canadian pair.
For the Canadians, who have never won any world medal in beach volleyball, there was disbelief and jubilation. Ross, who won world gold with Jen Kessy at this event in 2009, captured her second world silver medal, while Klineman, a 29-year-old standout out of Stanford, was participating in her first world championships.
The Americans fought hard but couldn’t outfox the Canadians, who won the first set 23-21 and then repeated the tally in the second. Ross and Klineman found themselves in their first real battle of the knockout stage, having only dropped one set in their previous four matches.
Ross and Klineman beat Australia’s Mariafe Artacho Del Solar and Taliqua Clancy on Friday to advance to the gold-medal match against Pavan and Humana-Paredes, who outlasted Swiss pair Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli in their own quarterfinal. The U.S. has not won gold at the world championships since 2009.