April Ross and Alix Klineman won gold Sunday and Summer Ross and Sara Hughes took bronze at the FIVB four-star event in Yangzhou, China.
It was the first four-star of the FIVB Olympic qualification season that concludes in June of 2020. Currently the FIVB 2019 competition schedule includes the 2019 World championships in Hamburg, four five-star events, and 12 four-star events.
Ross and Klineman split $40,000 and 1,600 points by defeating Brazil’s Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Silva 21-19, 21-16 in a 34-minute match.
Ross and Hughes defeated Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan 16-21, 23-21, 15-5 in 44 minutes to claim the bronze medal, $20,000, and 1,280 points.
Earlier Ross and Hughes dropped their semifinal match to Cavalcanti and Silva 21-16, 21-18.
Other USA women’s teams included three ninth-place finishes as Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman, Kelly Claes and Kerri Walsh Jennings, and Emily Day and Betsi Flint all finished ninth.
The men’s side also had a trio of ninth-place USA finishes for Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick, Billy Allen and Ryan Doherty, and Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske, who had their highest four-star finish.
Russians Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov defeated compatriots Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy 14-21, 21-19, 15-13 for men’s gold. Brazil’s Saymon Barbosa and Gustavo Carvalhaes received a forfeit in the bronze-medal match over Canada’s Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter.
Indoor gold-medalist David Lee made his FIVB debut with Mark Burik, but failed to make the main draw. They finished 33rd.
The next FIVB four-star event is the Las Vegas p1440 that starts Wednesday.
Eight USA men’s are teams registered: Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne, Doherty and Allen, Avery Drost and Eric Zaun, Evans and Kolinske, Patterson and Slick, Reid Priddy and Jeremy Casebeer, and Sean Rosenthal and Chase Budinger.
In the women’s draw, there are seven USA teams: Klineman and Ross, Hughes and Ross, Flint and Day, Stockman and Larsen, Sarah Sponcil and Claes, along with two new teams, Brittany Howard and Nicole Branagh and Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings.