Stanford grad Spencer McLachlin and teammate Miles Evans, a UC Santa Barbara grad, earned their highest beach volleyball finish of the season Sunday, finishing third on the NORCECA Continental Tour in Varadero, Cuba.
Americans Betsi Metter and Kelley Larsen earned their fourth medal of the year, and second silver, in the women's competition. McLachlin, an assistant coach at Hawaii, and Evans took home the 11th USA men's medal.
The U.S. leads all countries in medal count on this year's tour, including for gold for the women, who have accumulated five among four teams.
Evans and McLachlin compiled a 2-1 record in pool play. In the quarterfinals, the duo dispatched the Virgin Islands in two sets before falling in three to Canada's top team of Mike Plantinga and Cam Wheelan in the semifinal, 19-21, 21-12, 15-10.
For the third timethis year, Evans and McLachlin found themselves in the bronze medal match, this time turning it around to reach the podium. The duo beat Cuba's 10-seed Liosbel Mendez and Yendris Castillo, 21-12, 21-18.
In their fourth NORCECA event of the year, Metter and Larsen opened the weekend with a 2-1 record in pool play. In the quarterfinals, the duo faced USA's Skylar Caputo and Corinne Quiggle, beating them 21-23, 21-12, 18-16.
In the semifinals, Metter-Larsen topped Canada's Brandi Wilkerson and Julie Gordon in two, 21-18, 21-17, setting up the gold medal match against the host country.
It marked Metter and Larsen's third trip to the gold medal match this season, this time for a consecutive silver medal after falling to Cuba's Yanisleidis Sanchez and Lidiannis Echeverria, 13-21, 21-19, 15-10.
Caputo and Quiggle, in their debut NORCECA event, were 2-1 after pool play before falling in the quarterfinal. From there they defeated Mexico from the loser's bracket, 21-13, 21-8 to earn a spot in the fifth-place match. For fifth, they beat Canada in two, 21-9, 21-14.
In related news:
In Parnu, Estonia, two women's collegiate teams topped the podium at the eighth World University Beach Volleyball Championships.
Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, from the University of Southern California, took home gold on Sunday by defeating the United States' second women's team, Madison and McKenna Witt, of the University of Arizona, by a score of 21-16, 21-13.