2021 Tokyo Olympic Update: Cancun Hub 2nd Event Recap & 3rd Event Preview

Two down. One to go.

Before we get into the standings and scenarios for the 3rd and final Cancun Hub Event, let’s look back on all that was the 2nd Event. For the first time in 2021, all seven Olympic hopeful teams competed in the Main Draw. I’m combining all the AVP/Team USA highlights because there were pretty fantastic moments all around. 

  • Ross/Klineman were back in full form and, once again, were the best-finishing USA team. They didn’t drop a match until the Semifinals, where they lost a tight one to a young Russian team. They rallied and won the Bronze against the Netherlands the following morning, earning them 160 more points and TYING the #1 Olympic Ranking (OR) spot with their Canadian rivals Pavan/Humana-Paredes (who took an uncharacteristic 9th). So juicy. 
  • Dalhausser/Lucena won their pool, but it was tight. Their second match was INTENSE, with a 24-26 second set featuring a Nick Lucena red card and many questionable calls. The Floridians battled back from adversity and took the third set.
  • Bourne/Crabb had to go the long way for this event, playing in the Country Quota (CQ) and Qualifier. They beat Allen/Benesh relatively easily in the CQ, had a dangerously close three-set victory against Israel in the first round of the Qualifier, and then took down Brazil next to make the Main Draw (MD). 
  • Sponcil/Claes once again battled through the CQ, beating Day/Hughes. And this time, they had a better matchup in the Qualifier. They easily beat a Japanese team, never allowing them double digits, to make it back into the Main Draw — but Slaes didn’t stop winning then. They matched up against Stockman/Kolinske in pool play and won in two sets. After losing to a solid Dutch team to get second in pool, they kept winning until the Quarterfinals, where the extreme fatigue finally set in. 
  • We almost had a #CrabbBoil – they were in the same pool and set to play if both teams either won or lost. Unfortunately, Gibb/Crabb lost while Bourne/Crabb beat a solid Italian duo. 
  • After getting second in their pool, Bourne/Crabb had to face the World Champs Krasilnikov/Stoyanovsky, whom they upset in a thrilling two-set victory. Their prize? The #1 Norwegians, Mol/Sorum. The Hawaiians put up a great fight, but they lost in two and took 9th place. 
  • One more note on the A-Team and the Eh-Team (is that catching on yet?): these two international and AVP powerhouse teams’ consistency is unrivaled. They’ve traded the #1 spot multiple times, and at 9,240, they’re 440 points above the 3rd-ranked Brazilian team. Super cool that the likely #1 and #2 Olympic seeds are regulars on our beach. The Olympics are only once every four years (or five, or after Tokyo, three), but we get Olympic-level volleyball every AVP weekend. You’re welcome. 

I can’t help but wonder because this is the last of three events – who will shine and who will burn out? I honestly have no idea. A few factors are at play. 

  • It’s hotter than Hell’s doors down there. These athletes are in excellent shape, but heat and humidity take a toll.
  • Three tournaments in a row is tough. Especially because it’s not three weekends, it’s nonstop action with no days in between. I’m exhausted just watching. Nagging injuries flare up, fatigue compounds, and there’s a lot of pressure with so much on the line. 
  • With that being said, there’s also a great possibility that teams will be able to push even harder. This is the last tourney for a month, so they can really go all out and not have to reserve any energy. 

Ok, time to get to the numbers. 


Four-Star Points 
17th = 320
9th = 400
5th = 480
4th = 560
3rd = 640
2nd = 720
1st = 800




Olympic Standings Before Cancun 2nd Event


Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb – 7040 

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – 6560

Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb – 6440


Cancun 2nd Event Finishes 


Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb – 25th Place – 240 points

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – 9th Place – 400 points

Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb – 9th Place – 400 points 


Olympic Standings After Cancun 2nd Event


Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb – 7040 (no change)

Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena – 6720 (+160 points)

Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb – 6480 (+40 points) 


Points to drop: 400

Finish needed to increase OR: 5th



Points to drop: 320

Finish needed to increase OR: 9th



Points to drop: 360

Finish needed to increase OR: 9th

Dalhausser/Lucena increased their lead over Bourne/Crabb to 240 points. The young Hawaiians to podium in this final Cancun event for a chance to take the spot back in Mexico (Dalhausser/Lucena would also have to get 17th or worse). 

Dalhausser/Lucena dropped their last 240-point finish. They still have a 320 point finish, so now have to get 9th or better to increase their OR instead of just 17th.  

Though the top dogs, Gibb/Crabb, didn’t move, and Dalhausser/Lucena gained 160 points – Dalhausser/Lucena still have to make the Finals to rival the first USA Olympic spot. If Dalhausser/Lucena make the Finals and Gibb/Crabb don’t increase their OR, Dalhuasser/Lucena overtake the first USA Olympic spot. If they get third, they tie them. That’s obviously tough, but there’s a chance. 




Olympic Standings Before Cancun 2nd Event 


April Ross/Alix Klineman – 9080 

Kerri Walsh-Jennings/Brooke Sweat – 6960 

Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes – 6720

Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman – 6360


Cancun 2nd Event Finishes


April Ross/Alix Klineman –3rd Place – 640 points

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

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

Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman –  25th Place – 240 points 


Olympic Standings After Cancun 2nd Event 


April Ross/Alix Klineman – 9240 (+160 points)

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

Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes – 6800 (+80 points)

Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman – 6360 (no change)



Points to drop: 480

Finish needed to increase OR: 4th



Points to drop: 480

Finish needed to increase OR: 4th



Points to drop: 480

Finish needed to increase OR: 4th



Points to drop: 400

Finish needed to increase OR: 5th

As before, Stockman/Kolinske are two podium finishes away from the 2nd USA Olympic spot. With only three events left, they need to step on the gas and fast. 

Though Sponcil/Claes added to their OR, they still need to podium to overtake the second spot. They’re down 160 points, so here are the scenarios if both teams compete in the Main Draw. 


For a tie:

Sponcil/Claes get 3rd/2nd/1st

Walsh-Jennings/Sweat get 5th/4th/3rd


For a change:

Sponcil/Claes get 2nd/1st

Walsh-Jennings/Sweat get 5th/4th


And of course, these are only the potentials in this 3rd Cancun Hub Event. There are two more qualifying tournaments in late May and early June with myriad possibilities. As always, we’ll keep you posted.