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Controversy Surrounds Claes and Sponcil Elimination

Beach Volleyball
PC: USA Beach Volleyball Twitter

The beach volleyball knockout rounds got underway and we begin with a major surprise and a questionable call. Team USA’s beach volleyball duo of Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil have been eliminated. They lost to Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson of Canada

Set One

Canada got out to a 4-1 start. The Americans seemed off. Always a hair to slow to react. Canada grew the lead to 12-8. As the set continued, the Americans got on a 5-1 lead to tie the game at 14. Canada needed a timeout. Errors continued which kept Claes and Sponcil alive. The US finally took the lead 19-18 only to lose it on an error. The set had to go to extra point. It continued to go back and forth, but team USA took is 24-22.

Set Two

This time, it was the Americans getting out to a 4-0 lead. That warranted a quick timeout from the Canadians. After that, the lead grew to 6-1. Claes took over not wanting a repeat of set one. Claes had an over the shoulder kill and both team members were having success looking off Canada and making misdirection plays. After having a 10-4 lead, it shrunk to 10-9 as the Canadia ripped off a 5-0 run. The set became tied at both 12 and 14. Canada finally had a lead, basically the inverse of first set only to lose it. The US took a timeout with Canada having a slight 17-16 lead. After a successful challenge, Canada got it to set point but failed to get it in error. The set was eventually won by 21-18.

Set Three

The final set was back and forth. The heat and humidity was getting to everyone. The sand temperature registered at 108 degrees. The Canadians began to separate but Claes and Sponcil stayed in it. A controversial call lead to a out of bounds call being reviewed twice eventually going to the Canadians. The US depisputed but received a yellow card. The Americans lost 15-13 and were eliminated from the Olympics. Don’t be surprised if this match gets talked about for a while.

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