5.8.22.SU.Austin - Women's champions Taryn Kloth (L), Kristen Nuss (R)

Kloth and Nuss celebrate their second title in the 2022 season (Photo: AVP)

Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss will head to next week's Volleyball World Beach Tour Challenge event in Kuşadası, Turkey, on the back of arguably the biggest win of their careers. The two defeated reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada to claim the title at the first event on the 2022 American national tour (AVP) in Austin, Texas last weekend.

Seeded sixth in the women's tournament, the 25-year-old Kloth and the 24-year-old Nuss downed Pavan and Humana-Paredes 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) to take the title of the first event of the year in the United States. It was, however, the second victory for the pair in 2022 after they prevailed at the inaugural Beach Pro Tour Futures event, which was played in Coolangatta, Australia, in March.

“I knew that if I got the ball up, she’d run it down and set me up,” Nuss said about their defensive performance in the final. “You just kind of have to make those plays and find a way to get an arm on it."

Kloth and Nuss are set to start in the qualifier in Kuşadası. They are seeded 25th among the 48 teams entered in the tournament. The Americans also competed at the Itapema Challenge, in April, where they finished ninth.

Itapema champions Sara Hughes and Kelley Kolinske finished fifth in Austin while the new teams of Kelly Claes/Betsi Flint and Sarah Sponcil/Terese Cannon were third and fifth, respectively.

The men’s tournament also had unlikely winners as last-minute partners Phil Dalhausser and Andy Benesh took the title with their straight-set (21-19, 21-18) victory against Chase Budinger and Troy Field.

The 27-year-old Benesh, who took silver at the Beach Pro Tour Songkhla Futures with Miles Evans in April, and the 42-year-old Dalhausser formed the tallest team in the tournament and split block to claim the victory.

“This is crazy, there are no other words to describe it,” reacted Dalhausser, who retired from international beach volleyball following last year’s Tokyo Olympics. “There’s certainly something about playing with no pressure. We were just out here to have some fun and that’s how we played all weekend. And we just pulled it out.”

Beach Pro Tour regulars Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk and Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb tied for third while the new team of Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander finished fifth in Austin.