The Hague, Netherlands, January 7, 2018 – April Ross and Alix Klineman completed their run of 10 consecutive victories in their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together to claim Dela Beach Open gold on Sunday.
The American pair defeated Brazil’s Carolina Salgado and Maria Antonelli 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) at the indoor arena at Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague. They took an early grip and held it throughout, combining Klineman’s dominance at the net with Ross’ agility behind.
“I’m still in shock, but we tried to play this game as we would play any other game,” Klineman said. “We prepared the same way and we tried to play the same way and it was enough in the end.”
Ross and Klineman went on a run of nine consecutive wins to reach the gold medal match, a run that took them through two country quota matches, two qualifying round matches and into the main draw, before they met Carolina and Maria Antonelli.
It is Ross’ first World Tour medal since she and Lauren Fendrick won silver at the Austria 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and her first gold since she won the title at Long Beach in 2016.
She and Klineman only teamed up towards the end of 2017, under the guidance of Ross’ former partner Jennifer Kessy.
“We have a great feeling and we’re all on the same page,” Ross said. “We all have the same mentality, the same culture and same values.
“That matters so much when you’re on the court and you’re playing so hard for each other. It is a really, really special feeling out there.”
In the bronze medal match Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart needed only two sets to defeat the Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Barbara Hermannova 2-0 (21-18, 21-10).
It means they have already matched their achievements of the past two years when they won a bronze in 2016 and 2017.
“I’m really proud of our team, our staff and our coaches,” Huberli said. “We had such a difficult game yesterday and it was so hard, but I’m so proud of how we played and happy with the bronze.”
For more information on the tournament, click here.