Beach volleyball USC
Megan Kraft and Delaynie Maple with their medals. Photo credit: @USAVBeach, via Twitter

Two Torrey Pines High School graduates won the 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball women’s U19 world championship, defeating a Russian team Saturday in Phuket, Thailand.

Megan Kraft and Delaynie Maple beat Olga Gavrilova and Alina Salmanova, 21-12, 21- 17.

“There’s something different about winning with USA on your chest and it’s always fun to do it with your best friend,” said Maple, now a teammate of Kraft’s with the USC beach volleyball team.

Kraft and Maple, seeded 27th in the field of 32, needed to win a qualifying match to advance to the main draw. They won all three matches in pool play, then won three more to advance to the semifinals, where they defeated fellow Americans Xolani Hodel and Kate Reilly, both Stanford sophomores, 21-17, 21-15 Friday.

Kraft and Maple won 16 of their 17 sets, losing only the opening set in the round of 16 to Desy Poiesz and Brecht Piersma of the Netherlands.

Kraft and Maple are the second U.S. team to win the championship, joining the team of Jane Croson and Summer Ross, who won in 2010. The tournament began in 2002. It was originally for players 18 years old and under, switching to under-19 in 2005.

Hodel, a Huntington Beach High alumnus, and Reilly, who graduated from Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach, dropped Saturday’s bronze medal match to Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko of Ukraine, 21-15, 21-19.

– City News Service