International Volleyball

One USA pair – Budinger and Evans – remain in Xiamen Challenge beach tourney

One USA pair - Budinger and Evans - remain in Xiamen Challenge beach tourney

Chase Budinger, left, and Miles Evans won in Haikou, China, in 2023/Volleyball World photo

There is one USA pair left in the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge in Xiamen, China.

Fourth-seeded Chase Budinger and Miles Evans, who won in Haikou, China, in 2023, play 21st-seeded Frenchmen Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat in one of Sundayโ€™s semifinals, while second-seeded Lukas Pfretzschner and Sven Winter of Germany play Marco and Esteban Grimalt of Chile. They got through the qualifier and are seeded 18th.

Budinger and Evans went 1-1 in pool play, losing to Gauthier-Rat and Krou before going three to beat Australians Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis of Australia. They had to win two single-elimination matches, knocking off top-seeded Cubans Jorge Alayo and Noslen Diaz 21-17, 21-9 before beating 12th-seeded Brazilians Pedro Solberg and Guto Carvalhaes 21-14, 21-13.

The womenโ€™s side was equally unpredictable, where second-seeded Karla Borger and Sandra Ittinger of Germany play eighth-seeded Lithuanians Aine Raupelyte and Monika Paulkiene and ninth-seeded Swiss Olympians Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Mader play 10th-seeded Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno of Spain.

Two USA menโ€™s pairs won twice to get through the qualifier, Hagen Smith and Logan Webber and Jordan Hoppe and James Shaw.

Theo Brunner and Trevor Crabb were in the main draw as the No. 3 seed and went 1-1 in pool play before losing to seventh-seded Thomas Hodges and Zachery Schubert of Australia in the first round of single elimination.

Smith and Webber in turn knocked out Hoppe and Shaw in three before getting swept by Pretzschner and Winter.

Two USA womenโ€™s pairs got through the qualiifer, Kylie Deberg and Hailey Harward and Alaina Chacon and Mariah Whalen. Deberg and Harward went 2-0 in pool play before losing in the first round of single eliminated. Chacon and Whalen went 0-2 in pool play.

Sundayโ€™s matches can be seen on Volleyball World TV. Click here for the schedule and viewing links.

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