Stanford grad Klineman wins beach volleyball gold medal

Stanford grad Alix Klineman (right) and April Ross with their first-place trophies from the Itapema Open. Photo courtesy of FIVB.

Former Stanford standout Alix Klineman returned to the top Sunday, partnering with Olympian medalist April Ross to win the Itapema Open, beating Canada's Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes 25-23, 18-21, 15-10 in the beach volleyball tournament championship match at Meia Praia Beach in Brazil.

The training partners met for the second time in two weeks, with Klineman and Ross edging the Canadians in three sets for the AVP Huntington Beach Open title.

Carly Wopat/FIVB
Klineman and Ross, who share $20,000 in prize money, won their third World Tour four-star gold medal together, the previous two last season. The victory gives the American duo extra motivation in the build-up for Olympic qualification and the FIVB World Championships in late June.

“Every victory is important, but this counts for more,” Klineman told the FIVB World Tour website. “We want to send a message and we want to be consistently the best. This match was very different from the last one in the style of play; it was a tough one. It’s always like this against them and we’re just grateful we managed to come out on top.”

Ross, who played at USC, partnered with another former Stanford All-American Kerri Walsh Jennings, winning the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and partner Brooke Sweat finished in a tie for fifth, worth $6,000. They beat Pavan and Humana-Paredes 21-14, 21-18 during pool play.

Former Cardinal All-American Carly Wopat, playing with Brittany Hochevar, qualified for the main draw (and a paycheck of $2,000) but fell twice during pool play, including an 18-21, 21-11, 17-15 loss to a team from Latvia.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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