Snow Men Win Gold in Italy; Women Earn Silver

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | April 07, 2019, 3:54 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. men's snow volleyball team celebrates

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 7, 2019) – The USA 2 men’s snow volleyball team went from qualification to gold at the FIVB World Tour event on Sunday in Kronplatz/Plan de Corones, Italy.

The U.S. women’s snow team took its second straight silver medal in the new discipline that supporters hope to one day see in the Winter Olympic Games. The next World Tour event will be Aug. 1-4 in Argentina.

In Sunday’s thrilling men’s final, the U.S. men’s team of Troy Field/Maddison McKibbin/Riley McKibbin beat Russia, 9-15, 15-13, 22-20.

“To start from the bottom in the qualifier and to find ourselves in the finals, 22-20, I mean that’s as good as it gets,” Riley McKibbin told the FIVB.

“(Russia) brought a beach style that we haven’t seen before in any team,” Field added. “We found in the second set we had to come together as a team. Sometimes we were trying to do different things.”

The team had never played snow volleyball before last weekend, when it played in a Snow Volleyball Italia event.

“You should have seen us our first match – passing, shanking and slipping all over the place,” Maddison McKibbin said. “To climb the peak of the mountain; it feels good.”

The team won two qualifying matches, then went 5-0 for the rest of the tournament. On Sunday, the trio won a quarterfinal match against Slovenia (15-12, 22-20) and a semifinal match against Austria (15-6, 15-13).

The U.S. women’s team of Karissa Cook/Emily Hartong/Katie Spieler/Allie Wheeler won their quarterfinal match Sunday against Poland (15-11, 16-14) and their semifinal against Argentina (15-12, 10-15, 15-8).

It stumbled against the same Russian team that beat it last weekend in Austria, and fell 15-13, 15-11. In fact, with Argentina placing third, the women’s podium was the same as in Austria.

In this FIVB YouTube video, the women's final starts at 6:18:49 and the men's final begins at 6:54:00