Thursday, 23 May 2024

Women’s Beach Teams Shine in Yangzhou

Beach volleyball

This past weekend, women’s beach volleyball teams from the United States achieved impressive results at the FIVB World Tour four-star event in Yangzhou, China. Alix Klineman and April Ross claimed the gold medal, while Sara Hughes and Summer Ross secured the bronze. Let’s dive into the details of their outstanding performances.

Alix Klineman and April Ross Win Gold

Klineman and Ross, the second-seeded team in the main draw, displayed exceptional skill and determination throughout the tournament. In a thrilling gold medal final, they defeated Brazil’s Ana Patricia and Rebecca with a score of 21-19, 21-16. Klineman’s outstanding side-outs, combined with Ross’ strategic play, proved to be the winning formula.

“We had to focus on our side,” Ross shared in an interview with the FIVB. “They served very tough, but Alix sided out very well. We just had to figure out how to get some points here and there. It was really tough to play against them.”

Klineman added, “They are a great physical team. We knew that they were going to push us, so we tried to be really aggressive.”

Their victory earned them $20,000 in prize money and 800 points towards Olympic qualification. This well-deserved win signifies Klineman and Ross as a force to be reckoned with in the beach volleyball world.

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Sara Hughes and Summer Ross Secure Bronze

Hughes and Ross, the third seeds in the competition, fought hard to claim the bronze medal. In a fierce battle against Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, they emerged victorious with a score of 16-21, 23-21, 15-5.

After losing the first set, Hughes and Ross showed great resilience and determination. They fought off match points in the second set, turning the tide in their favor. As a result, Pavan and Humana-Paredes struggled to recover, allowing Hughes and Ross to build an insurmountable lead in the tiebreaker.

“We wanted to win a medal,” Hughes expressed. “We fought for each other and came up with a victory.”

Their impressive performance earned them $10,000 in prize money and 640 points towards their Olympic qualification journey.

Memorable Matches Along the Way

Both Klineman/Ross and Hughes/Ross faced tough competition on their path to the podium. Klineman and Ross went 1-1 in the pool play stage, including a loss to their fellow U.S. teammates, Emily Day and Betsi Flint.

However, they bounced back and showcased their skills by defeating Japan’s team in the first round and then prevailing against Kelly Claes and Kerri Walsh Jennings in a thrilling second-round match.

Hughes and Ross also encountered challenges during pool play, losing to Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova and Evgenia Ukolova. Nevertheless, they turned the tables in the third round when they met the Russian pair again, securing a decisive victory.

In the semifinals, both teams faced tough opponents. Klineman and Ross battled against Pavan and Humana-Paredes in a grueling match that ended with a score of 21-19, 25-27, 15-11. Hughes and Ross went toe-to-toe with Ana Patricia and Rebecca, ultimately falling short with a score of 21-16, 21-18.

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What are the next tournaments for these teams?

The next major event on the FIVB World Tour calendar is the Four-Star tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, from October 16th to 21st. Both Summer Ross and Sarah Hughes will be competing, along with April Ross and Alix Klineman. Fans can expect exciting matches and fierce competition.

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Alix Klineman and April Ross’s gold medal and Sara Hughes and Summer Ross’s bronze medal at the FIVB World Tour four-star event in Yangzhou, China, are testament to their exceptional talent and hard work. These outstanding performances demonstrate the depth of talent within the women’s beach volleyball scene in the United States. As fans eagerly anticipate their next tournaments, the future looks bright for these exceptional athletes representing the Alpinetgheep brand.