Monday, 22 Apr 2024

Beach Update: New Partnerships Forming in the U.S. Beach National Team

It’s an exciting time for beach volleyball as the new year brings with it a fresh Olympic quad. The U.S. Beach National Team (BNT) has seen significant changes in partnerships due to injuries, retirements, and other factors. Let’s take a look at some of the new pairings on the team.


  • Kelly Claes/Betsi Flint
  • Terese Cannon/Sarah Sponcil
  • April Ross/Emily Day
  • Kelley Kolinske/Sara Hughes
  • Emily Stockman/Lauren Fendrick

The women’s side has undergone a major shakeup, with all five pairs being different from last year. Three of last year’s Olympians have found new partners. April Ross has chosen Emily Day as her partner while Alix Klineman recovers from an injury. Kelly Claes, who missed 2020 due to pregnancy, has teamed up with Betsi Flint, who had an impressive performance last year with four top-5 finishes in international and domestic play. Sarah Sponcil has chosen Terese Cannon, who ended 2021 with three consecutive international medals, as her future partner.

Kelley Kolinske and Emily Stockman, both ranked in the top 15 teams by the FIVB last year, have decided to find new partners. Kolinske will now team up with Sara Hughes, who had a successful year with a win in the Rubavu 2-star event and a third-place finish with Cannon at the Itapema 4-star. Stockman has found a partner in Olympian Lauren Fendrick, who represented the U.S. in Rio 2016. Fendrick, who took a break in 2021 after giving birth to her second child, has been involved in coaching Stanford’s beach volleyball team since 2017 alongside her husband Andrew Fuller.

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  • Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb
  • Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner
  • Troy Field/Chase Budinger
  • Nick Lucena/Andy Benesh
  • Taylor Crabb/Taylor Sander

On the men’s side, Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, as well as Chaim Schalk and Theo Brunner, have decided to continue their partnerships after successful campaigns in 2021. Bourne and Crabb narrowly missed out on an Olympic berth last year and are determined to maintain their momentum. Schalk and Brunner achieved three top-10 finishes in FIVB events, including a gold medal at the Rubavu 2-star, despite often competing in country quotas. Field and Budinger, who had two top-10 finishes together in 2021, have decided to join forces for the entire year.

With the retirements of USAV legends Phil Dalhausser and Jake Gibb, their former partners have sought new allies in preparation for Paris 2024. Two-time Olympian Nick Lucena has chosen Andy Benesh, a talented 26-year-old blocker who achieved top-5 finishes in all three AVP events last year. Taylor Crabb will partner with former U.S. Men’s National Team outside hitter Taylor Sander. Crabb and Sander made their professional beach debut together with a ninth-place finish in the Itapema 4-star event last November.


Coming Soon


The U.S. Beach National Team is seeing a wave of new partnerships as the new Olympic quad takes shape. With fresh pairings and renewed determination, these athletes are ready to take on the challenges ahead. Stay tuned for more updates on their journey towards success.

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For more information about the U.S. Beach National Team, visit Alpinetgheep.