Spieler, DiCello win Laguna: Katie Spieler and Kim DiCello won the $5,000 44th annual Laguna Open Sunday.

They defeated Delaynie Maple and Tessa Van Winkle 25-19 in the final to win the first-place $2,500 prize. Spieler also won last year with Karissa Cook.

“The Laguna Open is a great event,” DiCello said. “The tournament director puts so much love and care into the event, it’s great to see. The tournament really has a grass roots feel to it, and the players really appreciated it.

“There’s a lot of history to the Laguna Beach Open on both the men’s and women’s sides. It was an honor to be out there playing. It’s such a historic event in such a beautiful place, and the beach was gorgeous.”

DiCello and Spieler are one of 2019’s newest teams, having only practiced together for three weeks.

“Katie was so fun to play with,” DiCello said. “She’s a great competitor, a supportive teammate, and she loves the sport. It’s really fun to have the opportunity to compete with her.

The corresponding Laguna men’s open will be held June 1-2, 2019.

1st: Kim DiCello/Katie Spieler ($2500)
2nd: Delaynie Maple/Tessa Van Winkle ($1500)
3rd: Megan Widener/Simone Gibson ($500)
3rd:Brittany Tiegs/Jessica Sykova ($500)
5th: Ainsley Radell/Kendall Peters
5th: Jade Hayes/Kirsten Overton
5th: Colby Bennett/Megan Kraft
5th: Dalas Dodd/Melissa Reed
Beach Bytes 5/13/2019-Nicolette Martin-Norceca Varadero
Nicolette Martin passes a short serve as Falyn Fonoimoana looks on/Norceca photo

NORCECA Varadero, Cuba: Nicolette Martin and Falyn Fonoimoana returned with silver hardware at the fourth NORCECA stop in Varadero, Cuba. They lost in the final to Maylen Deliz and Leila Martinez of Cuba 21-18, 21-13. Cuba’s Yanisleidis Sanchez and Lidiannis Echeverria defeated Canada’s Anna Dunn-Suen and Caleigh Cruickshank 21-9, 21-14 in the bronze-medal match.

Americans Caitlin Ledoux and Geena Urango finished fifth, defeating Puerto Rico’s Allanis Navas and Maria Gonzalez 21-15, 21-15. Earlier Ledoux and Urango were defeated by Deliz and Martinez in the quarterfinals 17-21, 14-21.

In the men’s field, Troy Field and Ty Loomis finished fourth, and Eric Zaun and Ian Satterfield fifth. The host Cubans took both gold and bronze as Sergio Gonzalez and Luis Reyes defeated Nicaragua’s Ruben Mora and Denis Lopez 22-20, 21-16. Earlier Field and Loomis forfeited the bronze medal match to Yosvany Carrasco and Karell Pina.

Kerri Walsh Jennings-FIVB World Championships-Hamburg-Beach Bytes 5/13/2019
Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat received a wild card into the FIVB World Championships in Hamburg June 28-July 7/FIVB photo

FIVB World wild cards: The FIVB announced its wild-card selections for the World Championships June 28-July 7 in Hamburg, Germany. The event is the first opportunity to earn a berth in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat got one of the bids, while Germans Laura Ludwig — the 2017 Vienna World Champion who returns after taking 2018 off to have a baby — and new teammate Maggie Kozuch, also got one.

Other Germans receiving wild cards include Leonie Kortzinger and Sarah Schneider, Sven Winter and Alex Walkenhorst, and Yannick Harms and Philipp-Arne Bergmann. The final men’s wild card went to Italians Alex Ranghieri and Marco Caminati.

Beach Bytes 5/13/2019-Lindsey Fuller
Lindsey Fuller blocks at the FIVB one-star in Tuan Chau, Vietnam/FIVB photo

FIVB Tuan Chau, Vietnam: Russia won both gold and silver at the women’s only one-star event in Tuan Chau Island, Vietnam, Sunday. Daria Rudykh and Ksenia Dabizha defeated Ekaterina Syrtseva and Alexandra Moiseeva 21-15, 21-19 for gold.

Top-seeded Yukako Suzuki and Yui Nagata of Japan won bronze, defeating Romania’s Beata Vaida and Ioana-Alexandra  Ordean 21-19, 21-17.

Americans Lindsey Fuller and Kaley Melville finished fifth, losing to Nagata and Suzuki 12-21, 13-21.

FIVB Itapema entries: The fourth four-star event of the FIVB season begins Wednesday in Itapema, Brazil. Five men’s and six women’s teams will represent the USA and they obviously won’t be at AVP Austin.

Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, Ryan Doherty and John Hyden, and Stafford Slick and Billy Allen are in the main draw, while Reid Priddy and Theo Brunner will begin in qualification.

For the women, Alix Klineman and April Ross, Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman are listed in the main draw. Brittany Hochevar and Carly Wopat have received a wild card into the qualifier. Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes and Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings are scheduled to compete in the country-quota match, hoping to advance to the qualifier.

Lesniak, Wallace welcome new addition: Pro beach players Dillon Lesniak and Nicole Wallace welcomed their first child, Jackson Patrick Lesniak on May 3. Jackson entered the lineup at 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and 22 inches  long.

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