Tough finishes for USA pairs in Volleyball World Doha Elite16


In the end, the results were disappointing for the USA pairs competing in the Volleyball World Doha Elite16.

Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes and Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss both tied for fifth and Sarah Sponcil and Terese Cannon tied for ninth.

The two USA men’s pairs were knocked out of last Thursday’s first round of qualifying.

It may be beach volleyball, but the finalists Sunday in Doha, Qatar, were all from cold-weather countries.

In the women’s gold-medal match, Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon, the No. 9 seed from the Netherlands, beat 10th-seeded Nina Brunner and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland 20-22, 21-14, 15-11.

Katja Stam jumps on the back of Raisa Schoon during their victory celebration/Volleyball World photo

On the men’s side, the Volley Vikings, top-seeded Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, defeated David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig, the eighth-seeded Swedes, 21-19, 21-19.

Mol and Sorum also won the 2022 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Finals last weekend in Doha, giving them a combined $180,000 for two weeks work, since this Sunday the gold medalists split $30,000 per pair, while the runnersup took home $20K.

The bronze medals went to Italians Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula, who beat Poland’s Bartosz Losiak and Michal Bryl 22-20, 22-20, and Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy, who got past Latvians Anastasija Samoilova and former USC great Tina Graudina 12-21, 21-15, 15-10. The winners spilt $14,000, while the fourth-place finishers got $10,000.

Fifth place was worth $8,000 and ninth paid $6,000.

Cheng and Hughes, who also earned $150K for winning last weekend, went 3-0 in pool play.

They beat Brunner and Huberli in a tough three, 21-17, 19-21, 19-17; went three again by rallying to beat Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes 12-21 21-18, 15-13; and then steamrolled Brazilians Andressa Cavalcanti and Vitoria De Souza 21-8, 21-12.

But the greatest pair in USC history was knocked out by the Latvians 21-18, 21-16.

Kloth and Nuss advanced through the qualifier by beating two USA pairs, first Toni Rodriguez and Savvy Simo, and then Megan Kraft and Emily Stockman. In pool play, they thumped Canadians Sophie Bukovec and Sarah Pavan 21-16, 21-8; lost to Sponcil and Cannon 23-21, 21-18; but got through with a 21-18, 21-14 win over Germans Svenja Muller and Sinja Tillmann.

The pair from LSU was then knocked out by Brunner and Huberli 21-17, 21-10.

Sponcil and Cannon lost their first match in the pool to Muller and Tillmann 21-19, 21-14, but bounced back with that victory over Kloth and Nuss before beating Muller and Tillmann 21-18, 21-14. But they, too, lost to the Latvians in elimination play 21-16, 21-16.

The next Volleyball World event is March 22-26, an Elite16 in Tepic, Mexico.

Taryn Kloth is all over this attempt by Nina Brunner on Saturday in Doha/Volleyball World photo

Tough finishes for USA pairs in Volleyball World Doha Elite16 Volleyballmag.com.

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