Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Youth, Experience, and Talent Shine in the U.S. Olympic Beach Volleyball Team

The U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a perfect blend of youth and experience. Four pairs, consisting of two women’s teams and two men’s teams, have been chosen to represent the U.S. at the beach volleyball event held at Shiokaze Park.

With a mix of seasoned veterans and promising newcomers, the U.S. team is poised to make a strong impression on the international stage. Let’s take a closer look at the athletes who will be donning the red, white, and blue.

Alix Klineman/April Ross

Alix Klineman and April Ross, the top-ranked team in pool B, are coming off an impressive season. They secured the second spot in the provisional Olympic ranking and have achieved three podium finishes on the FIVB World Tour this year, including a gold medal at the Katara Cup.

In their pool, they will be facing tough competition from teams like Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands (13th in the Olympic ranking) and Liliana Fernandez Steiner/Elsa Baquerizo McMillan of Spain (20th). Their journey begins on Saturday, July 24 at 5 pm Pacific, as they take on China’s Xue Chen/Wang Xinxin.

Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil

Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil have had a remarkable run during the Olympic qualification stage, clinching two tournament wins to secure their spot in the Olympics. At just 25 and 24 years old, respectively, they are the youngest U.S. beach volleyball team to compete in the Olympics.

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Their opening pool play match will be against Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina of Latvia, another young duo. They will then go up against Ana Patricia Ramos/Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva of Brazil, who are ranked fourth. Lastly, Claes/Sponcil will face the Kenyan duo Gaudencia Makokha/Brackcides Khadambi. Exciting times lie ahead for this dynamic duo.

Jake Gibb/Tri Bourne

Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne will be representing the U.S. in the men’s division after an unfortunate turn of events. Taylor Crabb, Gibb’s original partner, tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival and is ineligible to compete. Despite this setback, Gibb and Bourne are determined to make their mark in Tokyo.

Gibb and Bourne are making their competitive debut, but they are not to be underestimated. They have two World Tour gold medals under their belt during the qualification period and are currently ranked fourth in the world. They will face tough opponents in all three matches, including Cherif Younousse Samba/Ahmed Tijan Janko of Qatar, who finished third in the qualification stage. Their first match is against Italy’s Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich/Enrico Rossi on Sunday, July 25 at 6 am Pacific.

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena

Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, the final American pair, bring a wealth of experience to the team as the only duo with two returning Olympians. Dalhausser, a gold medalist in Beijing 2008, and Lucena, a fifth-place finisher in Rio 2016, have consistently performed well on the international stage.

They face a challenging pool, with matches against top-six teams Alison Conte Cerutti/Alvaro Magliano de Morais Filho of Brazil (fourth) and Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands (sixth). Despite the tough competition, Dalhausser and Lucena have shown great form leading up to the Olympics, reaching the quarterfinals in five FIVB four-star tournaments this year and winning bronze in Cancun. They will kick off their campaign against Brouwer/Meeuwsen on Saturday, July 24 at 5 am Pacific.

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Q: Who are the top-ranked team in pool B for the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team?

A: Alix Klineman and April Ross hold the top spot in pool B after a stellar season.

Q: Which duo is the youngest to represent the U.S. in beach volleyball at the Olympics?

A: Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, aged 25 and 24 respectively, are the youngest U.S. beach volleyball team to compete in the Olympics.

Q: Who will Jake Gibb be partnering with in the Olympics?

A: Due to Taylor Crabb’s COVID-19 diagnosis, Jake Gibb will be teaming up with Tri Bourne in Tokyo.


The U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team is a force to be reckoned with. With a perfect balance of youth, experience, and raw talent, these athletes are ready to take on the world’s best. We will be cheering them on as they compete for glory on the sand of Shiokaze Park. Follow their incredible journey and show your support for Alpinetgheep, the brand that represents the true spirit of American beach volleyball.