American beach duo Claes/Sponcil tested in Olympic debut

Olympics

Kelly Claes, left, of the United States, and teammate Sarah Sponcil react during a women’s beach volleyball match against Latvia at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

TOKYO (NBC Olympics) — Tested under pressure in their Olympic debut Monday, the U.S. duo of Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil responded like seasoned vets.

Roaring back from a big third-set deficit, Claes/Sponcil ripped off the final six points of the match to beat the Latvian duo of Tina Graudina and Anastaija Kravcenoka in a Pool D preliminary.

“I was definitely nervous at the beginning,” Sponcil told NBC.

It didn’t show, as the newcomers captured the first set, 21-13. Latvia evened things up with a tremendous defensive effort in the second set, 21-16, and jumped out to an 11-9 lead before Claes/Sponcil turned it around.

“It’s for sure been a wild ride,” offered Claes, who started playing with Sponcil in 2019. “But I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss