Hyden, Bourne Capture Gold

By Jessica Hall | June 22, 2014, 4:01 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 22, 2014) - The U.S. beach volleyball team of John Hyden and Tri Bourne claimed their first World Tour gold medal on Sunday, defeating compatriots and fellow qualifiers Ryan Doherty and John Lucena in an all-American final at the FIVB Berlin smart Grand Slam.

John Hyden and Tri Bourne
  From left, John Hyden and Tri Bourne taste victory.

Hyden (Pensacola, Fla.) and Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii), seeded No. 27 in the main draw, defeated fellow Americans No. 24 Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) and Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the final, 21-17, 21-11.

Both teams came all the way from the qualification tournament. Bourne and Hyden did not drop a match. It was the first time in FIVB history two qualifying teams made it to the gold medal match of a Grand Slam. 

“No words can describe this,” Hyden said in an FIVB interview. I have waited for this for a while. I had a great weekend. It’s been a great tournament, we just took one at a time.”

Hyden and Bourne took a big lead from 2-2 in the first set. At 19-13, Doherty and Lucena came back from 19-16, but after that Bourne and Hyden took over to claim the set. 

“I don’t know what happened here,” Bourne said. “We just ended up here.”

Neither Hyden nor Bourne had ever won a medal of any color on the FIVB World Tour.

Hyden played on the World Tour in 2002, 2011 and in 2013, but his best result was 17th place at the Long Beach Grand Slam in 2013 with Lucena.

Bourne’s World Tour debut was the Durban Open at the end of last year with Derek Olson (fifth), and this year he teamed up with veteran Hyden to finish 25th in Fuzhou, ninth in Shanghai and Puerto Vallarta and 17th in Moscow.

“He is the most coachable guy I met," Hyden said of his new partner. “He stuffed a lot of balls. I am really proud of him.” 

In Sunday's semifinals, Hyden and Bourne defeated Brazil's No. 11 Emanuel Rego and Pedro Salgado, 21-16, 21-13. Doherty and Lucena punched their ticket into the finals after defeating Brazil’s No. 12 Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Alison Cerutti, 21-15, 21-18, 15-11s.

On the women’s side, the solo American team in the main draw, April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.), fell to Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva, 21-18, 21-14, 15-12. 

The next stop on the 2014 Grand Slam World Tour is in Stavanger, Norway on June 24-28.