Toronto's Wilkerson falls to Ross, Klineman in AVP beach volleyball's return event
The Canadian duo of Pavan and Humana-Parades lost in the semifinals
April Ross and Alix Klineman won the AVP Monster Hydro Cup final in Long Beach, Calif. It was the first beach volleyball tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic halted sporting events.
The second-ranked team in the world, Ross and Klineman, took on Toronto native, Brandie Wilkerson and her American partner Sara Hughes in the finals.
Early on, the Olympic medal favourites Ross and Klineman struggled.
The match was playing out evenly to start, before Wilkerson and Hughes edged out to a 20-16 lead. However, the top-seeded duo in the tournament reeled-off an impressive rally to take the first set 24-22.
WATCH | Toronto's Wilkerson loses in AVP finals:
Despite the brief scare in the opening set, the Americans kept their composure, while trading points in the second set. They were tied 19-19 when Ross and Klineman won the next two points to claim the set 21-19 and the match.
Earlier in the day, Ross and Klineman defeated the reigning world champions, Sarah Pavan of Toronto and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Kitchener, Ont., in three sets to advance to the final.
WATCH | Pavan and Humana-Paredes lose in semis:
Wilkerson and Hughes reached the final with a straight sets win over Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil.
WATCH | Wilkerson reaches the final:
Meanwhile, Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., and his American partner, former NBA player Chase Budinger, made it to the semifinals before losing in three sets to Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb of the United States.
WATCH | Schalk and Budinger fall in the semifinals:
In the men's final, Crabb and Gibb would fall to 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and his partner Nick Lucena, in three sets.