Sponcil and Claes Give US Another Win

US Beach Volleyball
Kelly Claes, left, and Sarah Sponcil after winning in Ostrava/FIVB photo

The US beach volleyball team had their first nail bitter. The team of Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes is the youngest sent to Tokyo. They are 24 and 25 respectively. The duo faced off against the Latvians – Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina. First, a reminder that beach volleyball is a best two out of three affair. The first two sets got to 21 points, while the third set goes to 15 if it is needed. The Americans took set one 21-13. Everything was looking good for the young duo, but it was far from over.

Things Got Interesting

With the USA looking to finish things off, they stumbled in the second set and lost set two 21-16. A loss would put them, and any team in serious jeopardy in pool play. Additionally, anther reminder that there are three matches in pool play for each team. In set three, the young American duo trailed 11-9 with Latvia closing in. The teamwork of Sponcil and Claes propelled them to a 6-0 run, thus ending the set and match with a 15-11 victory. This brings an end to the first matches for Team USA.

Final Thoughts

At this point, the youngest team in the history of the United States showed they can handle adversity. Next, the teams of Ross and Klineman, and the new team of Gibb and Bourne also won without much problem. Finally, the team Lucena and Dalhausser are the only US team not to win yet. To be fair, three out of four isn’t bad at all. However, there is still a long way to go, and the team of Lucena and Dalhausser are behind the eight ball with some work to do.

Disclaimer – a photo from the match could not be found.

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