Ross and Klineman claim third consecutive AVP victory
LONG BEACH, United States, August 2, 2020 – April Ross and Alix
Klineman completed a successful three-week run at the 2020 AVP
Champions Cup with their third title in as many events as the
2019 FIVB World Championship silver medallists won the final
event of the series in Long Beach, California on Sunday.
Ross, a two-time Olympic medallist, and Klineman, a former
indoor star, met a third different team in the final after their
first two victories, but made sure the outcome was the same as
they downed Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes in straight sets 2-0
(21-18, 21-17) to secure the title.
Undefeated in all of the 12 matches they played during the last
three weeks, the Americans finished the series on top and are
pleased with the outcome.
“We honestly didn’t know how these tournaments would go for us
with so much going on,” the 30-year-old Klineman said. “We made
sure we did all we could to be ready for it, but we knew every
other team would be doing the same, so to get to win all three
tournaments is incredible and it really feels like a reward for
all our hard work. It was high-level volleyball for all three
weeks and we had to raise our level accordingly.”
Kelley Kolisnke/Emily Stockman and the gold medallists of the
2019 World Championships, Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa
Humana-Paredes, shared the third-place finish in Long Beach.
Among the men, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena aimed to
accomplish a similar success after winning the first two events
of the series, but their dreams fell short at the hands of Tri
Bourne and Trevor Crabb.
The Hawaiians, who reached the semifinals of last year’s World
Championships, bounced back from consecutive third-place
finishes to hand Dalhausser and Lucena their only loss in the 12
matches of the series, a 2-1 (21-17, 15-21, 15-12) triumph that
granted them the title in the last event of their national
“We just trusted our game and the amount of work we’ve put on,”
Bourne added. “We knew how much we trained and how much we
prepared for these matches. Phil and Nick are one of the best
teams in the world and playing against them can make you look
bad at times, so we knew we had to be patient and to keep
fighting. To be among the best we need to win these matches and
I’m glad we did it this time.”
The third-place spot in Long Beach was split between Taylor
Crabb/Jake Gibb and Chase Budinger/Chaim Schalk.