2021 Tokyo Olympic Update: Doha & Rankings Recap

The first Olympic Qualification tournament of 2021 was a standout for North and South America (only one European team made the podium). Our AVP athletes dominated the Semifinals, making up five of the eight teams. Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb made the podium, earning a Bronze Medal. But Champions Cup Series winners April Ross and Alix Klineman added another Gold Medal to their collection. This tourney win makes four in a row for the A-Team. 

Let’s start with the ladies. 


Olympic Standings Before Doha 

April Ross/Alix Klineman – 8760 points

Kerri Walsh-Jennings/Brooke Sweat – 6960 points

Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes – 6640 points

Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman – 6080 points

Doha Finishes

April Ross/Alix Klineman – 1st Place – 800 points 

Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman – 4th Place – 560 points

Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes – 5th Place – 480 points

Kerri Walsh-Jennings/Brooke Sweat – 9th Place – 400 points

Olympic Standings After Doha 

April Ross/Alix Klineman – 9080 (+320 points) 

Kerri Walsh-Jennings/Brooke Sweat – 6960 (no change)

Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes – 6720 (+80 points)

Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman – 6320 (+240 points) 


A few things to highlight from these standings: 

  • April and Alix are sitting at the Number 1 spot, which means as of now they’d be the #1-Seed (not just #1 USA, but #1 in the world) heading into the Olympics.  
  • While only two teams can go to the Olympics Games, all four of these American teams are in the Top 10 in Olympic Ranking (OR). Total domination.
  • With the announcement of five more 4-Star Olympic Qualification events, the race is neck and neck for the second quota spot. Sponcil/Claes are potentially only one Podium finish away from Walsh-Jennings/Sweat. And while Stockman/Kolinske have a taller order, a couple more finishes like Doha will put them right in the thick of it. 
  • Sponcil/Claes’ entry points are still lower than the other three teams, so they’ll play in the Country Quota and the Qualifier for all three events at the Cancun Hub in Mexico. The FIVB rules state that Entry Points are evaluated 21 days before a tournament. Even if Team Slaes wins the first tournament, they’ll still be in Country Quota for the next event because their Entry Points will remain the same for all three. Entry Points will not be changed, but seeding will be. 

A few highlights from the tournament: 

  • Sponcil/Claes had one of their tightest battles in the Qualifier. They played a very tough Dutch team who took them to three sets (19-21, 22-20, 15-12). Slaes lost the first and were down 18-20 in the second. But they pulled off four straight points (!!) and then rode that momentum through the third.
  • Three AVP teams won their Main Draw pool – Ross/Klineman, Stockman/Kolinske, and Canadians Pavan/Melissa, who beat the fourth AVP team of Sponcil/Claes in a three-set barn-burner (24-22, 18-21, 16-14). 
  • Apart from Sponcil/Claes, the other three USA teams all played each other.
    • Ross/Klineman beat Walsh-Jennings/Sweat to win their pool (21-17, 20-22, 15-10)
    • Stockman/Kolinske won a nailbiter against Walsh Jennings/Sweat in the 9th Place round (21-11, 24-26, 17-15)
    • Ross/Klineman defeated Stockman/Kolinske in the Semifinals (21-15, 21-16) 
  • The Gold Medal match was an AVP Classic: the A-Team v. the Eh-Team. Ross/Klineman took down rivals Pavan/Melissa in two (22-20, 21-18) to win their first (of potentially many) titles in 2021.  
  • One fun scenario that didn’t quite pan out was an all-AVP Semifinals. Had Sponcil/Claes beat Agatha/Duda, they would have played Pavan/Melissa in the Semis. That would have been awesome… but apparently the Brazilians didn’t care about my fantasy. Cool cool cool. 

Okay, now for the Men. 


Olympic Standings Before Doha

Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb – 6680 points 

Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb – 6360 points 

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – 5840 points

Doha Finishes 

Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb – 3rd Place – 640 points

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – 4th Place – 560 points

Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb – Did Not Compete 

Olympic Standings After Doha

Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb – 7000 (+320 points)

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – 6400 (+560 points)

Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb – 6360 (no change) 

A few things to highlight from these standings: 

  • Phil and Nick have officially taken over the second quota spot! Going into Doha, they only had 11 tournaments counting toward their OR. The entire 560 points they earned in Doha got added to their OR, putting them just above Bourne/Crabb by 40 points (so close!). 
  • Like Sponcil/Claes – Bourne/Crabb are still in the CQ heading into the Cancun Hub. Will there be one CQ for all three events? Will it be held in California or Cancun? We’ll find out how USA Volleyball will handle the CG in the coming weeks.

A few highlights from the tournament: 

  • The two teams who made it out of the CQ into the Doha Qualifier – Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk and Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson – both lost their Qualifier matches. Needless to say, Bourne/Crabb had a hard time hearing that news. 
  • Dalhausser/Lucena lost their first match, but they found their footing and proceeded to pick off teams one-by-one all the way to the Semifinals. 
  • Gibb/Crabb had a phenomenal showing in Doha. They started the tournament by winning their pool. Then, they took down the reigning World Champs, Russians Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy in two sets to make it to Semis. 
  • Unfortunately, both teams lost in the Semifinals. Gibb/Crabb fell in a close one to the Brazilians Evandro/Guto 26-24, 21-23, 15-11. Dalhuasser Lucena struggled against the Czech team of Ondrej Perusic/David Schweinerlosing, losing 21-9, 21-17. 
  • Those two losses gave us a familiar matchup: Crabb/Gibb v. Dalhausser/Lucena in the Bronze Medal match. Crabb/Gibb rode their momentum from an impressive Semifinal and took down Dalhausser/Lucena 21-9, 23-21. 


The next event on the calendar is the Cancun Hub starting on April 16. This two-week, three-event series will have a massive impact on the Race to Tokyo. Keep checking in for updates.