Saturday was a tough day for the USA in the five-star FIVB event in Gstaad, Switzerland, as the Americans were eliminated after going 0-4. Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb finished fourth, while Alix Klineman and April Ross and Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman tied for fifth.
The event is the second of three five-star events in 2018’s Beach Major Series, the first since February’s Fort Lauderdale event.
Gibb and Crabb were narrowly defeated in the bronze-medal match by Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy in a dramatic three-set match (17-21, 21-16, 20-18). The fourth-place finish is Gibb and Crabb’s highest finish of the year, adding to their FIVB ninths in Fort Lauderdale, Doha, and Xiamen.
Youthful Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway, ages 21 and 22, respectively, defeated Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain in the gold-medal match (21-18, 21-12).
Gavira and Herrera defeated Lupo and Nicolai earlier (30-28, 21-18).
Semifinals are set for the women’s draw, as Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan will play Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Duda before Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany face Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson of Canada at 5 a.m. Eastern.
Losers of the semifinals will play for the bronze medal at 7:30 a.m. Eastern, while the winners play for gold at 8:45 a.m. Eastern.
Alix Klineman and April Ross lost to Pavan and Humana-Paredes (21-15, 21-15). The fifth-place finish is the team’s second-best international placing of the year after coming out of the gates in 2018 with a gold medal in The Hague, Netherlands.
Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman lost in the same round to Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa (20-22, 21-15, 15-7). It was their first five-star event.
The final five-star event of the Beach Major Series is in Vienna, July 31-August 5.