Wednesday, 29 May 2024

USA Women Dominate the World University Beach Volleyball Championships


In a thrilling display of athleticism and skill, the women’s collegiate beach volleyball teams from the United States took the spotlight at the 8th World University Beach Volleyball Championships in Parnu, Estonia. Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, representing the University of Southern California, emerged as the champions, securing the gold medal. They triumphed over their compatriots, Madison and McKenna Witt from the University of Arizona, with a score of 21-16, 21-13.

A Hard-Fought Victory

The path to the final was not an easy one for Claes and Hughes. They demonstrated their prowess by emerging victorious in their respective pools with a perfect 3-0 record. They continued their winning streak in the subsequent rounds, setting up an all-American final. Throughout the tournament, Claes and Hughes displayed an exceptional level of play, not dropping a single set in all six matches they played.

“To bring this gold medal home for the USA, we couldn’t be happier,” expressed Claes and Hughes. “We worked incredibly hard to reach the finals, and we are overjoyed to have made it this far.”

A Legacy of Success

This victory adds to an already impressive resume for Claes and Hughes. They previously secured bronze medals at the 2013 U19 and 2014 U21 World Championships and have now clinched their second consecutive gold medal. Prior to their triumph in Estonia, they emerged as champions at the NORCECA North Bay. The duo’s next challenge awaits them at the FIVB World Tour Klagenfurt Open in Austria.

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Men’s Team Performance

The journey for the U.S. men’s teams was a challenging one. Branden Clemens from Harvard and Brendan Duff from Orange Coast College finished in 14th place, whereas Chris Orenic and Lucas Yoder from USC placed 23rd. Both teams faced a tough pool play, resulting in additional matches during the elimination rounds.

Clemens and Duff showcased their skills by winning their first-round match against Estonia. Although they suffered a loss against Austria in the second round, they fought hard and proceeded to the 13th-place match against Australia. Ultimately, they concluded their tournament with a 3-5 record.

Orenic and Yoder faced a similar fate, losing their first-round match against Switzerland. Despite their determination and resilience, they were unable to secure a higher placement than 23rd. However, they ended on a positive note with a victory against Slovenia.


Q: How many matches did Claes and Hughes win in the tournament?

A: Claes and Hughes won all six matches they played, not dropping a single set.

Q: Did Claes and Hughes win any medals prior to the World University Beach Volleyball Championships?

A: Yes, they earned bronze medals at the 2013 U19 and 2014 U21 World Championships.

Q: What is the next competition for Claes and Hughes?

A: Claes and Hughes will be competing in the FIVB World Tour Klagenfurt Open in Austria.


The 8th World University Beach Volleyball Championships showcased the incredible talent and determination of the women’s collegiate teams from the United States. Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes’ gold medal triumph highlights their exceptional skills and dedication to the sport. As they continue their journey, we can expect more extraordinary performances from these incredible athletes.

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