USA and Canada duos dominate at Itapema Beach


ITAPEMA, Brazil, May 19, 2019 – April Ross and Alix Klineman captured their third FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal together as the Americans topped the podium of the Itapema Open, the Brazilian four-star event held at the Meia Praia Beach, on Sunday. 


Ross and Klineman, the fifth-seeded team entering the tournament, ended their Itapema campaign with a hard-fought three-set (25-23, 18-21, 15-10) victory over Canada’s Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes in front of a packed center court. They were flanked in the podium by a pair of Canadian tandems, as Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley secured the bronze medals.


The Itapema Open final was a rematch of the American AVP Huntington Beach gold medal match, just two weeks ago. As in Brazil, Ross and Klineman also needed three sets to prevail over the Canadians, who are their eventual training partners, in California.


Before winning the Itapema Open, the Americans had collected two other World Tour four-star gold medals, in the Hague and Yangzhou, both in 2018.


For Pavan and Humana-Paredes, it was their eighth international medal together. They won three golds, four silvers and one bronze so far.


Bansley and Wilkerson returned to a familiar place in Itapema as the Canadians finished third after a three-set (21-19, 17-21, 22-20) battle with the Netherlands’ Marleen van Iersel/Joy Stubbe in the bronze medal match.


The result gave the world ranking leaders their second consecutive bronze medal in Itapema as in 2018 they stepped on the podium for the first time as a team in the Brazilian coastal city, also in third place. 


It was the seventh medal won by the Canadians in just one year and the third in the 2018-2019 season. They won golds in Warsaw, Las Vegas and Chetumal, silver in Ostrava and bronzes in Itapema and Gstaad.