Qualifiers Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman will play for a medal as the last surviving USA team in the four-star beach FIVB Warsaw. By contrast, all of the USA men’s teams were sent packing Friday.
Larsen and Stockman, the biggest surprise of the tournament, have had quite a week, progressing from the country-quota matches through qualification to win their pool and subsequently defeat Germany’s Margareta Kozuch and Laura Ludwig (21-15, 21-19) and compatriots Alix Klineman and April Ross (21-13, 21-14) to reach Sunday’s semifinals.
Larsen and Stockman play Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa after Australia’s Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy and Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado in the first semifinal. The semifinal winners, of course, will play for gold with the losers relegated to the bronze-medal match.
Larsen, who played at Pepperdine alum, and Stockman, who played at Wichita State, have played together since 2018. They are currently guaranteed at least fourth place, the pair’s best finish in a four-star or better FIVB event.
All three USA men’s teams split their pool-play matches to advance to elimination playoffs but none advanced to the second round.
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena forfeited their first-round match to Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs, citing abdominal issues for Dalhausser. Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb were eliminated by Russia’s Nikita Liamin and Taras Myskiv (20-22, 21-19, 15-10). Theo Brunner and Reid Priddy lost to Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera (21-15, 21-15).