Olympians return to Sands of Long Beach

Olympians return to Sands of Long Beach

By Jon D. Gaede

Voice News Sports

Long Beach – The World Series of Beach Volleyball (WSOBV) returned to the sands of Long Beach off majestic Shoreline Drive and broadcast live on ESPN. Showcasing current Olympians and top international athletes from all over the globe. 

Leonard Armato (CEO of WSOBV) and Kelly Claes (USC) and former Trojan Sand Volleyball NCAA Champion. Kelly and her partner Sara Hughes won the bronze medal at Long Beach.

The tournament, created by the dynamic Leonard Armato (WSOBV CEO) has always attracted the very best men’s and women’s teams who compete on the FIVB Tour. The draw included athletes from the United States, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain and Netherlands to name a few.   

Many of the teams competed at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. The American team of Phil Dalhausser and partner Greg Lucena finished short of the medals in Rio. Long Beach provided the stage to re-establish their dominance. On Sunday, they did just that. At 6’9” multiple Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser used that height and leaping ability to block and win several key points from Canadians Pedlow and Schacter. Lucena and Dalhausser easily won the President’s Cup in straight sets, 21-18 and 21-15.

Talita Rocha makes finger tip save at Long Beach. Talita Rocha and partner Larissa Franca took the tournament gold medal.

The American duo of Olympian April Ross and her partner Lauren Fendrick, battled the Brazilian side of Larissa and Talita for the women’s title. Ross, who split with her partner Keri Walsh earlier this year, has been nursing a nagging toe injury. Playing from behind most of the match, the Brazilian’s proved to be too tough, winning 19-21, 21-19 and 15-11. 

The bronze medal match featured Walkenhorst and Ludwig the reigning German gold medal team from the Rio games. The Olympic champions were beaten by the former USC Sand Volleyball duo of Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes in straight sets, 21-17 and 21-14. Many of the U.S. teams will now head north to Hermosa Beach to compete in the AVP tournament, July 20-23.

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