Newberry/Sparks Advance to Youth Olympic Semis

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans | Oct. 15, 2018, 5:44 p.m. (ET)
 U.S. beach volleyball players Devon Newberry, Lindsey Sparks, Johns Schwengel and Tim Brewster
From left, Devon Newberry, Lindsey Sparks, John Schwengel and Tim Brewster.
 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 15, 2018) – The U.S. women’s beach team of Devon Newberry/Lindsey Sparks has advanced to the semifinals of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The U.S. men’s team of Tim Brewster/John Schwengel, seeded 27th, finished fifth after losing in the quarterfinals Monday to ninth-seeded Matthew Immers/Yorick de Groot of Netherlands, 21-18. 21-12.

Newberry/Sparks (5-0), seeded 16th, will play Italy’s fifth-seeded Claudia Scampoli/Nicol Bertozzi in the semifinals at 7 a.m. PT on Tuesday. Watch LIVE at http://bit.ly/101518YOG2.

In Monday’s quarterfinals, Newberry/Sparks beat Spain’s Daniela Alvarez/Tania Moreno, 21-19, 17-21, 15-9.

Alvarez/Moreno had previously beaten Newberry/Sparks in the bronze-medal match at the U19 World Championships in July in Nanjing, China.

"It was a tight match that went back and forth," Sparks said of the quarterfinal win. "Devon and I felt in control the whole time, despite the score in the second set.

"I'm really proud of the way we battled and stayed steady. Spain played a great game."

In the second set, Newberry/Sparks fell behind 15-9 before going on a 4-0 run to make it 15-13. The were within one at 18-17 before Spain pulled away. In the third set, the U.S. took a 4-2 lead and never trailed.

"We showed our improvement from China," Newberry said. "My partner was super steady throughout the entire match and having our high intensity and energy made the game so much fun."

"Devon and Lindsey's win over Spain was sweet," said U.S. head coach Ali Wood Lamberson. "We lost to the same team in the medal round at Worlds, so the girls wanted revenge. I'm glad that Spain pushed us hard so we had a chance to respond with aggressive play. That will help us tomorrow."

Second-seeded Maria Voronina/Mariia Bocharova of Russia will play 14th-seeds Emilie Olimstad/Frida Berntsen of Norway in the other semifinal.

Brewster/Schwengel finished the tournament with a 4-2 record. The U.S. pair were seeded 27th in the tournament and beat several higher seeds along the way.

"I am proud and pleased with Tim and John's performance," Lamberson said. "While we'd prefer to have them advance to the medal rounds, I think a fifth-place finish is a great achievement considering we knew we would be an undersized team without a primary blocker. I'm really proud of hot they came together as a team and focused on aggressive and precise net play."

The United States was the only country to have both a men’s team and a women’s team advance to the quarterfinals.