Haiyang, China, July 22, 2018 – USA’s Betsi Flint and Emily Day had a perfect ending to their brilliant run in the women’s tournament of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Haiyang Open with a gold medal victory on Sunday.
Flint and Day recorded a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win over Germany’s Sarah Schneider and Cinja Tillman.
The American pair gained the upper hand in the first set, as the German duo struggled to score. With Tillman missing on another attack, the USA side increased their lead to 13-8. Germany made some great plays to catch up, but Flint and Day made adjustments until Day closed the set at 21-16 with a block.
The Germans picked up some momentum early in the second set, but the Americans tied the score at 6-all. After a series of deadlocks, Flint and Tillman went on to score back-to-back points. However, Tillman finally missed on an attack that put the USA side ahead at 19-17. USA finally clinched the gold medal from Day’s solid block and an error from the German side.
“We came here to win and we are happy that we were able to pull it off before we head to Tokyo,” Day said. “Betsi and I did a good job in managing this tournament because it was very hot. We played with aggression and even when we were tired we still connected with one another.”Quick links - Beach volleyball:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Haiyang
After a heartbreaking semifinal loss to Flint and Day, Caitlin Ledoux and Sarah Sponcil redeemed themselves with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) bronze medal win against another USA duo - Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen.
Ledoux and Sponcil played a synchronised start, with Ledoux commanding the attack and Sponcil taking care of the defence. Larsen and Stockman made a late run to cut down the lead to within one at 18-17. After a series of attacks from both sides, Ledoux and Sponcil still emerged with the set win.
Ledoux and Sponcil picked up where they left off and started another run. Sponcil’s sound service game and Ledoux’s aggressive offence made it difficult for their opponents to retaliate. Sponcil got into another scoring act to end the match at 21-13.
“I think we composed ourselves very well under high pressure,” Ledoux said. “In this situation that we were coming off a loss, I’m happy how we stuck to our game plan.”