Beach Teams Get Strong Start on Day 2 of Worlds

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 29, 2019, 11:27 p.m. (ET)

Sarah Sponcil

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 29, 2019) – Five more U.S. beach volleyball teams competed at the FIVB World Championships on Saturday in Hamburg and all five notched their first victories of pool play.

The No. 5-seeded U.S. women’s team of Alix Klineman/April Ross beat No. 44 Mendoza Reyes Swan Valeria/Lolette Eleonor Rodríguez Saunders of Nicaragua, 21-8, 21-7.

“We want to treat every match like it’s the finals,” Ross said. “We prepared as hard as we could and came in and played as hard as we could.

“I wanted to get my jump serve going and I feel like I did that.”

Klineman added: “I think a big part of it was attitude and setting a tone for the tournament and how we want to play.”

The No. 7 U.S. men’s team of Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb defeated Uruguay’s No. 42 Mauricio Sebastian Vieyto Acosta/Marco Cairus Lucarelli, 21-17, 21-13.

“I thought it was a good first game,” Crabb said. “We didn’t know much about this team. We had to figure it out as we went and we did a great job of that.”

Gibb added, “We’re used to playing three or four matches in a day. One match a day is not demanding. And I love the heat. It keeps this body warm. It doesn’t take a lot to warm up.”

No. 11 Sara Hughes/Summer Ross won a battle against No. 38 Ana Gallay/Fernanda Pereyra of Argentina, 21-18, 15-21, 16-14.

“Argentina did not go down without a fight,” Hughes said. “It was an absolute battle. They’re really fun to play against.

“Summer and I, for our first match, got the butterflies out.”

No. 13 Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb also had to battle to beat Iran’s Bahman Salemiinjehboroun/Arash Vakili, 13-21, 21-16, 15-9.

“I was ready for anything to be honest,” Crabb said. “We couldn’t get much video on them from before. But I knew from a couple past results that they could play. We weren’t going to take them lightly.

“They had a nice couple plays in the beginning. They played really well that first set. We knew we had to give it everything we had after that.

“That was the biggest game of the tournament right there. The first one is always the most important. It sets the tone for the rest of the tournament.”

No. 16 Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes beat Russia’s No. 33 Ekaterina Birlova/Evgenia Ukolova, 21-8, 21-16.

“I think the cool thing about Sarah’s (Sponcil) and my partnership is I kind of look ahead and she very much grounds us and keeps us in the present,” Claes told the FIVB. “I’m the one who sits down and looks at all the points because you need to know where you are standing, and she is just like, ‘I don’t care, let’s just play.’"

The 12th edition of the FIVB World Championships concludes with the women's medal matches on July 6 with the men's finale set for July 7 as the winning teams will share the $60,000 first-place prizes.

NBC Sports will broadcast 72 hours of the Beach Volleyball World Championships.

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
2a Sweat/Walsh Jennings USA vs Maita/Letendrie MRI
5a Sponcil/Claes USA vs Yuli/Diana COL
6a Klineman/A Ross USA vs Xue/Wang CHN
7a Semenov/Leshukov RUS vs Allen/Slick USA
9a Gibb/Crabb Ta USA vs Hudyakov/Velichko RUS
10a Larsen/Stockman USA vs Nnoruga/Franco NGR
10:15a Dalhausser/Lucena USA vs Saxton/O’Gorman CAN

July 1
3a Hughes/S Ross USA vs Zeng/Lin CHN
6a Bourne/Tr Crabb USA vs Kavalo/Ntagengwa RWA
9a Clancy/Artacho Del Solar AUS vs Sweat/Walsh Jennings USA
10:15a Klineman/A Ross USA vs Borger Sude GER

July 2
3a Pavan/Melissa CAN vs Sponcil/Claes USA
4a Maria Antonelli/Carol BRA vs Larsen/Stockman USA
5a Hughes/S Ross USA vs Makroguzova/Kholomina RUS
6a Allen/Slick USA vs Tamer Mahmoud QAT
6a Dalhausser/Lucena vs Brouwer/Meeuwsen NED
8a Gibb/Ta Crabb vs Kantor/Losiak POL
9a Thole/Wickler GER vs Bourne/Tr Crabb USA

July 3
Women’s Round of 32

July 4
Men’s Round of 32

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