From silver at the World Championships in Hamburg to gold in Gstaad, April Ross and Alix Klineman are on a roll.
On Sunday, the American pair defeated Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado of Brazil 15-21, 21-17, 15-12 in the 100th FIVB women’s gold-medal match between teams from the United States and Brazil.
“We were so frustrated after losing the gold-medal match in Hamburg last week,” Ross said. “That frustration carried over to our matches this week. This was a big win for us as a team.”
Klineman and Ross have now won four gold medals in just 15 FIVB tournaments together since forming their partnership prior to the start of the 2018 season.
The victory over Maria and Carolina in Gstaad also marks a repeat of Klineman and Ross’ very first gold-medal win as a pair at the 2018 Dela Beach Open in the Netherlands where the Americans defeated the same Brazilian duo 21-12, 21-15 in the final.
With the win, Klineman and Ross received $40,000 and 1,200 points, which will help them extend their lead over all other American women’s pairs in the provisional Olympic qualification rankings.
To make it to the final, Klineman and Ross defeated Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland in the semis, coming back from an 11-18 deficit in the first set to win 22-20, 21-17.
Ana Patricia Silva and Rebecca Cavalcanti of Brazil claimed the bronze medal, defeating Betschart and Huberli 21-14, 21-12 in the third-place match.
The world’s top beach volleyball players will now travel to Spain for the Espinho Four Star. Play begins on Tuesday with the country quote matches.