Shepparton, Australia, February 4, 2018 – Chase Frishman and James Avery Drost made it unbeaten all the way from the first qualification round on Thursday to the top of the podium on Sunday at the Shepparton one-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, losing only one set in the seven matches played along the way to the gold.
Chase Frishman is a complete rookie on the World Tour as this was his first participation, but for his more experienced partner James Avery Drost this was the first ever medal on the Tour as well.
Host country Australia occupied both other spots on the podium, as last year’s winners, top-seeded Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann took silver, and last year’s finalists, second-seeded Cole Durant and Zachery Schubert, claimed the bronze.
The men’s medallists at Shepparton
In the gold medal match, Frishman and Drost left no doubts over their superiority mastering a 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) shutout of Australia’s favourites McHugh and Schumann. Scoring four points in a row, the Americans broke away with a 9-4 lead in the first set and kept the pace through to the eventual 21-17 shaped up with a nice tip by Drost. With another four-point run in the second set, the US pair flipped the lead from 8-10 to 12-10 and never looked back. They widened the gap before Drost closed it off at 21-15 with a powerful hit off the block, bringing in the complete American triumph at Shepparton after their compatriots won both the gold and the silver medals on the women’s side of the event.
For McHugh this silver is the third medal on the World Tour, while Schumann medals for the second time.
“McHugh and Schumann are an incredible team. Everyone knows that. They play one of the most fun styles of volleyball. It was our privilege to play against them in Australia and I am thrilled about our performance. I am really humbled by this moment, and to be doing it with this partner whom I have come to love as a brother is so wonderful,” James Avery Drost said after the victory.
In the third place match, Cole Durant and Zachery Schubert left no chance to their opponents, Armin Dollinger and Simon Kulzer from Germany, dominating throughout the game for a convincing 2-0 (21-10, 21-13) victory. Only during the early rallies of the second set did the Germans manage to stay in contention, but the Australians continued their solid performance on the way to the bronze. After the 2017 Shepparton silver, this is the second medal for Durant and Schubert on the World Tour.
Both semifinals earlier on Sunday also finished in straight sets. Chase Frishman and James Avery Drost outplayed Cole Durant and Zachery Schubert to claim a 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) win, after which Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann mastered a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) victory over Armin Dollinger and Simon Kulzer.