USA beats USA for Women’s gold medal at FIVB U17 World Championships
Fast friends and active training partners back home and rivals in Acapulco, USA’s Morgan Martin/Kathryn Plummer defeated fellow Americans USA’s Haley Hallgren/Joy Dennis to win the women’s gold medal match early Sunday evening at the inaugural double-gender FIVB U17 Beach Volleyball World Championships held on Playa Tamarindos in Acapulco, Mexico.
With the championship contested for players from around the world under 17 years of age, winning the historical first bronze medal of the FIVB U17 World Champions was Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Linda Gramberga over Turkey’s Duygu Nur Dogan/Pelin Ilgin.
The final four teams emerged from an original total field of 29 women’s teams representing each of the five FIVB Confederations that started Wednesday at Playa Tamarindos in Acapulco Bay.
USA WOMEN GOLDEN In the all-USA women’s gold medal finale featuring compatriot training partners, USA’s Martin, 16, Mission Viejo, Calif./Kathryn Plummer, 15, Aliso Viejo, Calif. thrilled the overflow crowed by coming from behind to defeat USA’s Hallgren, 15, Southlake, Texas/Joy Dennis, 15, Cypress, Calif., 20-22, 21-18 and 15-13 in a blistering 50-minute match. USA’s Plummer was selected as the women’s Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
USA’s Martin/Plummer finished the march to gold in Acapulco with a perfect 8-0 record while USA’s silver medalists Hallgren/Dennis leave with a 6-2 record in the inaugural FIVB U17 World Tournament.
From appearances, it looked like either team could win any of the three sets, but USA’s slightly older Martin/Plummer pulled a few more ‘tricks’ out of the hat with never-before-taken shots to squeeze out the serious battle in the end.
All three sets were tied multiple times with the surprising ‘younger bunch’ Hallgren/Dennis winning the first set in overtime 22-20.