wins first ever gold in Snow Volleyball
CORONES/KRONPLATZ, Italy, April 7, 2019 – Maddison McKibbin,
Riley McKibbin and Troy Field, participating as United States 2,
claimed their country’s first ever men’s medal in international
snow volleyball after a victorious run from Thursday’s
qualifications all the way to Sunday’s spectacular gold medal
match at the second stop on the FIVB Snow Volleyball World Tour
in Plan de Corones / Kronplatz, co-organized with the CEV.
silver medal went to the team of Russia 1. The Russians have
been the dominant power on the men’s CEV Snow Volleyball
European Tour in recent seasons, but have yet to achieve their
first gold on the World Tour. For Pavel Rakusov, Yury Bogatov,
Nikita Kusmin and Petr Bakhnar, this silver is the second medal
on the Tour after their Wagrain-Kleinarl bronze last week.
team of Poland completed the podium. The bronze for Piotr
Groszek, Karol Szczepanik, Kamil Warzocha and former multiple
European King of the Snow Michal Matyja is the first World Tour
medal for the central European country in either gender.
men’s final was the big jewel of the whole event and a brilliant
ending to an exciting tournament. With Pavel Rakusov leading the
way in attack, the Russians were well in control of the first
set. The battle intensified in the second set as both teams put
on display the highest level of snow volleyball. USA were more
concentrated in the final moments to tie the match and prompt
the breath-taking tie-breaker, which crowned the eventual
winners. In the epilogue, extended deep into overtime, both
sides saved multiple opponent match points. High-flying Troy
Field was doing his magic in both offence and blocking, but it
was Maddison McKibbin, who hammered the last point to shape up
the 2-1 (9-15, 15-13, 22-20) American victory for the gold.
Aleksandar Boricic, FIVB 2nd Executive Vice-President and CEV
President, awarded the gold medals and the trophy to the
well-deserving champions, who completed a winning streak of
seven matches on the Italian snow.
start from the bottom of the qualifiers and to find ourselves in
the final and win it by 22-20 in the tie-break – that’s as good
as it gets! We are fired up! This exceeded our expectations by
far and beyond. We never imagined that this could be this
amazing. It’s like you are in heaven. This is what heaven looks
like!” exclaimed Riley McKibbin immediately after the final.
are a great team! Amazing! They really brought a beach style
that we haven’t seen before. We were just trying to stay steady
and in the second set we just came together as a team. We are
extremely grateful for Italy, for the FIVB for a chance to play,
let alone win for our country,” Troy Field added.
started this expedition two weeks ago. We had never played snow
volleyball in our lives. To climb the peak of the mountain and
win an FIVB World Tour event – god, it feels good!!!” concluded
an elated Maddison McKibbin.
on Sunday, USA 2 reached a 2-0 (15-12, 22-20) quarterfinal win
over Slovenia and a 2-0 (15-6, 15-13) semifinal victory over
Austria, last week’s gold medalists at Wagrain-Kleinarl. Russia
1 enjoyed a 2-0 (15-11, 15-9) shutout of Brazil and a
hard-fought 2-1 (15-12, 10-15, 15-10) win over Poland.
and Poland exchanged emphatic set wins on the way to a
tie-breaker in the bronze medal match. They engaged in a
dramatic third-set battle for the last remaining spot on the
podium. When it counted the most, the Polish players were more
concentrated and it was Kamil Warzocha, who put the ball on the
snow for the winning point – 2-1 (15-8, 6-15, 15-13). After the
match emotional Karol Szczepanik announced that it was his son’s
birthday, so with Michal Matyja as the lead singer, the
spectators at centre court greeted Szczepanik junior with the Happy