Simo and Van Winkle (USA), Champions of the second phase of the NORCECA Beach Tour

VARADERO, Cuba, May 5, 2024 - Americans Savannah Simo and Abby Van Winkle clinched the gold medal in the second phase of the 2024 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour by defeating Puerto Ricans Allanis Navas and María González 2-1 (21-14, 17-21, 15-12).

With this performance, they now have two medals in this circuit, as they won bronze in the opening event in Güibia, Santo Domingo, while the Puerto Ricans, titleholders of the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador 2023, once again missed out on the top spot, settling for second place.

Simo and Van Winkle avenged their fellow Americans Harward Hailey and Kylie De Berg, who had defeated them in the semifinals a month ago. This time, the roles were reversed, with Simo and Van Winkle emerging as the victors, winning 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) and securing their place in the final.

However, Harward and DeBerg, reigning champions at Güibia Beach, didn't leave empty-handed, as they secured the bronze by defeating hosts Maykelín Drik and Amanda Armenteros 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-13) in a hard-fought match that lasted 48 minutes.

In the other semifinal, Navas and González once again prevailed over the Cubans, this time with scores of 2-0 (21-18, 21-18).

One of the champions, Simo, expressed, “We are very motivated to have won medals in both phases. We attended university together; however, this is the first year we have teamed up and competed in the NORCECA Tour. Although I played it three years ago, this is my fourth experience”.

Abby added, “This is our first time in Varadero, there is a lot of wind, but it’s beautiful, we love it. The people are very friendly, they enjoy the energy, and are very sociable”.

The fifth place went to Darby Dunn/Myriam Robitaille (CAN-1) who defeated Dominicans Julibeth Payano/Crismil Paniagua 2-0 (21-18, 21-13).

Guatemalans Danna Aguilar/Naomi Monney secured seventh place without playing due to the non-appearance of Canadians Marie Ale Bélanger/Lea Monkhouse (CAN-2).

Ninth place was for the second home pair, Kailin Garrido/Yenifer Rivera, after defeating Amber Bennett/Taylor Buckner (ISV-2)  2-0 (24-22, 21-14), and the eleventh place went to Socorro López/Lolette Rodríguez (NCA) who overcame Dana Funes/Keiry Guzmán (ESA) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

Ximena Núñez/Kianny Araya (CRC) defeated Mannika Charles/Tara Austin (ISV-1) 2-1 (21-14, 14-21, 15-9) to claim the 13th position; Selena Spek/Mileidy Paret (CUB-3) defeated Shanicia Dyer/Shajunee Gumbs (SKN) 2-0 (21-14-21-11) finishing in 16th place, while Janneke Tammenga/Chelleney Soedamah (SUR) rounded off the table.