Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships Kick Off in Thailand

After facing a series of pandemic-related setbacks, the U.S. Beach U19 National Team is finally ready to compete at the highly anticipated 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in Phuket, Thailand.

Event Updates and Team Lineup

Originally slated for November 2020, the U19 World Championship will now take place from December 6th to December 11th. The event will kick off with the qualification matches on Monday, December 6th, followed by the main draw starting one day later.

The U.S. will be represented by two pairs in the 32-team main draw: Xolani Hodel and Kate Reilly, as well as Dylan Zacca and Adam Hartmann. Additionally, Megan Kraft and Delaynie Maple, along with Thomas Hurst and Gage Basey, will have to compete in the qualifiers to secure their spots in the main draw.

Road to the Championships

Hurst and Basey will face off against Brazil’s Vilsomar Brito Bernardo Jr. and Pedro Augusto Sousa De Oliveira in their qualifier match on Sunday at 9:40 p.m. Pacific Time. Kraft and Maple will play at 10:30 p.m. against an opponent that is yet to be determined.

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All four pairs earned their berths at the FIVB U19 World Championship Trials held in June. Hodel and Reilly, as well as Zacca and Hartmann, secured gold at the trials, granting them direct entry into the main draw. Kraft and Maple placed second in the trials, earning them a qualification spot, alongside Basey and his then-partner Caleb Kwekel.

Team Composition and Background

Completing the Beach U19 National Team roster are Chloe Hooker, Isabella Martinez, Dylan Foreman, and Caleb Kwekel, although they will not be competing in Thailand. Hooker and Martinez claimed bronze during the trials, while Hurst and Foreman also secured a bronze medal. Due to a partnership swap, Hurst will now compete alongside Basey during the championships.

Hodel and Reilly both represent Stanford University’s beach volleyball team, while Kraft and Maple play for USC. Zacca and Hartmann hail from the Florida Region, Basey is from Lyons, Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Region, and Hurst is from Plano, Texas, representing the North Texas Region.

Past Achievements and Expectations

This will be Kraft’s second appearance at the U19 World Championship, having previously reached the Round of 16 in 2018 alongside Maya Harvey. In that same year, Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks finished fourth.

The U.S. last stood on the podium in 2016, with Kathryn Plummer and Mima Mirkovic securing a bronze medal. In 2013, T.J. DeFalco and Lucas Yoder also claimed bronze in the boys’ division.

Stay Tuned for the Live Stream

For those unable to attend the matches in person, the semifinal and medal rounds of the Beach U19 World Championship will be live-streamed on Beach Volleyball World’s official YouTube Channel.

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FAQs

Q: Where will the 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships take place?
A: The championships will be held in Phuket, Thailand.

Q: How many teams will participate in the main draw?
A: The main draw will consist of 32 teams.

Q: Who are the qualifying teams from the U.S.?
A: The U.S. will have two pairs competing in the main draw (Xolani Hodel/Kate Reilly and Dylan Zacca/Adam Hartmann), while Megan Kraft/Delaynie Maple and Thomas Hurst/Gage Basey will compete in the qualifiers.

Conclusion

The 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in Thailand promise to be an exciting event, showcasing the talent and dedication of young athletes from around the world. With the U.S. Beach U19 National Team ready to compete, fans can expect thrilling matches and memorable performances. Stay tuned for updates on the team’s progress as they strive for success in this prestigious tournament.

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