Silver for Claes-Sponcil in Espinho, Flint-Day to play for Edmonton gold

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FIVB Espinho Edmonton July 20-Kelly Claes-Sarah Sponcil
Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil had plenty to celebrate Saturday with a silver medal/George Davison photo

Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil took home FIVB four-star silver from Portugal, while fellow Americans Emily Day and Betsi Flint go for FIVB three-star gold Sunday in Edmonton.

Claes, the former USC star, and Sponcil, the former UCLA standout, tied their highest four-star finish together on Saturday in Espinho, Portugal, after a 21-17, 21-16 loss to Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina of Russia. 

Brazilians Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Silva took the bronze medal by beating compatriots Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa 21-18, 18-21, 15-12. 

Claes and Sponcil, who also got silver in the FIVB Hague, advanced to the final with a 21-12, 26-24 win over Cavalcanti and Silva, while Makroguzova and Kholomina spoiled Bednarczuk’s and Lisboa’s hopes 21-18, 21-18.

The American men went 0-2 Saturday as Theo Brunner and Reid Priddy were eliminated by Marco and Esteban Grimalt of Chile 21-19, 21-14 to finish ninth, and Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb finished 17th after a loss to Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho of Brazil 21-15, 21-15.

Sunday’s men’s semifinals feature Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs of Latvia against Cerutti and Filho followed by the Grimalt cousins of Chile against Andre Loyola and George Wanderley of Brazil.

FIVB Espinho Edmonton July 20-Reid Priddy
The USA’s Reid Priddy runs a down a shot in Espinho, Portugal/George Davison photo

Second-seeded Day and Flint take on top-seeded Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, who are coming off their FIVB Worlds victory, at 4 p.m. Mountain time.

Fellow Americans Billy Allen and Stafford Slick play for men’s bronze against Italy’s Alex Ranghieri and Marco Caminati at 1 p.m.

Nicole Laird and Becchara Palmer of Australia, who earlier defeated Kelly Reeves and Kim Dicello 15-21, 21-17, 15-10, face Akiko Hasegawa and Azusa Futami of Japan for bronze at 2.

Then Canada’s Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton play Switzerland’s Nico Beeler and Marco Krattiger for gold at 3 p.m.

Day and Flint won twice Saturday, defeating Alexia Richard and Lezana Placette of France 21-11, 21-11 and then Laird and Palmer 21-15, 21-12.

Allen and Slick defeated Sergiy Popov and Iaroslav Gordieiev of the Ukraine 21-14, 21-15, but lost to Beller and Krattiger 25-23, 21-13.

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