Four Teams Win Wednesday at Worlds

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | July 03, 2019, 9:50 p.m. (ET)

Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 3, 2019) – The single-elimination phase of the FIVB Beach World Championships began Wednesday and four U.S. teams survived to play another day.

For the women, the Round of 32 saw Alix Klineman/April Ross, Sara Hughes/Summer Ross and Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil advance to the Round of 16.

Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman and Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings saw their tournaments come to an end.

On the men’s side, Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena won their “lucky loser” match to advance to the Round of 32.

No. 16 Sponcil/Claes (right to left in photo above) pulled out a victory from the jaws of defeat and sent home top-seeded Germans Chantal Laboureur and Sandra Ittlinger, 19-21, 21-19, 15-10.

After winning the first set, the Germans held an 18-14 lead in the second set, when Claes/Sponcil turned things around.

“I think we were talking about it right after the time-out, 18-14, and Kelly said, ‘There’s no one I’d rather play with than you,’” Sponcil said. “I was struggling on sideout for sure. There was a switch right then, ‘This is our time, it’s now or never.’ We really made a push at the end to force a third.”

Claes, who scored 23 of the team’s 33 points, added: “I think we added the option, and we stopped missing our serves. We were struggling a lot in the first, I think we were too aggressive with our serves and making too many errors.”

Sponcil/Claes will play Italy’s No. 24 Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth in the Round of 16 at 7 a.m. PT on Thursday.

No. 5 Klineman/Ross defeated Brazil’s No. 10 Carolina Solberg Salgado/Maria Antonelli, 21-15, 13-21, 15-11.

“We prepared a lot. But I think the biggest thing today was our attitude and our resilience and our grit and our determination to get the win even if things weren’t perfect,” Klineman said. “There’s really no fear on our side. I think we felt really free and aggressive, and that was the difference.”

Klineman/Ross will face Latvia’s No. 26 Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka in the Round of 16 at 4 a.m. PT on Thursday.

No. 11 Hughes/Ross beat defending 2017 world champion Laura Ludwig and her partner Margareta Kozuch of Germany, 21-15, 21-12.

“Summer was blocking great,” Hughes said. “It was easy for me to read on defense with her being big up there. It was really fun.

“Our goal was just to get out there and play the best we can, and that’s what we did. Especially when we were up super-high in the second set, we said, ‘No let-down. We play as tough as we can,’ and I think we showed that at the end.”

Hughes/Ross will play No. 31 Joy Stubbe/Marleen Ramond-van Iersel of Netherlands at 4 a.m. PT on Thursday.

No. 6 Dalhausser/Lucena beat Mexico’s No. 34 Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen in the “lucky loser” match, 21-15, 21-17.

“We’ve had our back against the wall a few times and I think it’s when we play the best volleyball,” said Dalhauser, who added that the team talked with a sports psychologist between matches.

“Team dynamics weren’t great. We were like two entities rather than together.”

Dalhausser/Lucena will play Qatar’s No. 4 Cherif Younousse/Ahmed Tijan on Thursday at 9 a.m. PT.

NBCSN presents live coverage beginning Friday, June 28 at Noon ET. Coverage on NBCSN will stream live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

The full 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships schedule is available at nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com.

FIVB World Championships Media Packet

U.S. Teams and Coaches
Women
April Ross/Alix Klineman (Jen Kessy)
Sara Hughes/Summer Ross (Jose Loiola)
Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen (Evie Matthews)
Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes (Leandro Pinheiro)
Kerri Walsh Jennings/Brooke Sweat (Marcio Sicoli)

Men
Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (Jason Lochhead)
Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb (Rich Lambourne)
Trevor Crabb/Tri Bourne (Pompilio Mercadantes)
Stafford Slick/Billy Allen (John Mayer)

Support Staff
Athletic Trainer: Mike Martinez
Sports Psychologist: Peter Haberl
Chiropractor: Jen Watters
National Team Coach: Tyler Hildebrand
Team Leader: Sean Scott
Performance Analyst: Tyler Widdison
USOPC Representative: John Crawley
Massage Therapist: Tony Poland

U.S. Schedule for the Beach Volleyball World Championships
(All times PT)

June 28
Dalhausser/Lucena USA def Azaad/Capogrosso ARG, 21-14, 21-13
Alison/Alvaro Filho BRA def Allen/Slick USA, 19-21, 21-15, 15-10
Stubbe/Van Iersel NED def Sweat/Walsh Jennings USA, 21-15, 19-21, 15-9
Kozuch/Ludwig GER def Larsen/Stockman USA, 25-19, 25-15

June 29
Sponcil/Claes USA def Ukolova/Birlova RUS, 21-8, 21-16
Hughes/S Ross USA def Gallay/Pereyra ARG, 21-18, 15-21, 16-14
Gibb/Ta Crabb USA def Vieyto/Cairus URU, 21-17, 21-13
Bourne/Tr Crabb USA vs Salemi/Vakili IRI, 13-21, 21-16, 15-9
Klineman/A Ross USA vs Mendoza/Lolette NCA, 21-8, 21-7

June 30
Sweat/Walsh Jennings USA def Maita/Letendrie MRI, 21-2, 21-2
Sponcil/Claes USA def Yuli/Diana COL, 21-8, 21-9
Klineman/A Ross USA def Xue/Wang CHN, 21-10, 21-11
Allen/Slick USA def Semenov/Leshukov RUS, 13-21, 27-25, 15-12
Gibb/Crabb Ta USA def Hudyakov/Velichko RUS, 21-15, 21-14
Larsen/Stockman USA def Nnoruga/Franco NGR, 21-6, 21-13
Saxton/O'Gorman CAN def Dalhausser/Lucena USA, 21-16, 21-19

July 1
Hughes/S Ross USA def Zeng/Lin CHN, 21-19, 21-13
Bourne/Tr Crabb USA def Kavalo/Ntagengwa RWA, 21-13, 21-9
Clancy/Artacho Del Solar AUS def Sweat/Walsh Jennings USA, 21-19, 24-22
Borger/Sude GER def Klineman/A Ross USA, 21-15, 21-23, 15-10

July 2
Pavan/Melissa CAN def Sponcil/Claes USA, 22-24, 21-17, 18-16
Larsen/Stockman USA def Maria Antonelli/Carol BRA, 24-22, 14-21, 15-9
Makroguzova/Kholomina RUS def Hughes/S Ross USA, 21-16, 21-18
Allen/Slick USA def Tamer Mahmoud QAT, 21-13, 21-11
Brouwer/Meeuwsen NED def Dalhausser/Lucena, 21-19, 21-15
Kantor/Losiak POL def Gibb/Ta Crabb USA, 21-17, 21-19
Thole/Wickler GER def Bourne/Tr Crabb USA, 21-16, 21-17

July 3
Round of 32
Keizer/Meppelink NED def Larsen/Stockman USA, 21-17, 13-21, 15-13
Sponcil/Claes USA def Laboureur/Ittlinger GER, 19-21, 21-19, 15-10
Hughes/S Ross USA def Kozuch/Ludwig GER, 21-15, 21-12
Agatha/Duda BRA def Sweat//Walsh Jennings USA, 21-18, 21-16
Klineman/Ross USA def Maria Antonelli/Carol BRA, 21-15, 13-21, 15-11
Men's Lucky Loser
Dalhausser/Lucena USA def Ontiveros/Virgen, 21-15, 21-17

July 4
Men’s Round of 32
2 a.m. Evandro/Bruno Schmidt BRA vs Allen/Slick USA
7 a.m. Gibb/Ta Crabb USA vs Herrera/Gavira ESP
8 a.m. Bourne/Tr Crabb USA vs Ehlers/Fluggen GER
9 a.m. Dalhausser/Lucena USA vs Cherif/Ahmed QAT

Women's Round of 16
4 a.m. Stubbe/Van Iersel NED vs Hughes/S Ross USA
4 a.m. Klineman/A Ross USA vs Graudina/Kravcenoka LAT
7 a.m. Menegatti/Orsi Toth ITA vs Sponcil/Claes USA

July 5
Women’s Quarterfinals
Women’s Semifinals

July 6
Men’s Quarterfinals
Men’s Semifinals
Women’s Bronze and Gold

July 7
Men’s Bronze and Gold