CHULA VISTA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2014) – At the end of a long, hot tournament, the U.S. men’s beach team of Derek Olson and Avery Drost found the bronze medal to be a bittersweet prize.

On the plus side, Olson and Drost defeated Puerto Rico’s Roberto Rodriguez and Erik Haddock, a team they had lost to in pool play, 21-16, 21-18 to win the bronze medal at the NORCECA Tour stop at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.

But the victory came after a tough three-set defeat at the hands of Canada’s Garrett May and Daniel Dearing, 18-21, 21-17, 17-15.

Olson and Drost trailed May and Daniel throughout the third set before catching them at 14-14. At 15-15, May attacked cross-court and the ball went off Drost’s block and out of bounds to give Canada match point.

“When we caught them at 14-all, I thought, ‘We got this,’” Drost said. “We made a lot of great plays in that game and the only think I can think about is not pushing my right hand enough on that block.”

Following their bronze medal victory, both players were feeling more positive about the tournament.

“We played some good ball. We played some good teams,” Olson said. “We’re continuing to figure things out. You’ve just got to be consistently good and that’s the hard part.”

Drost added, “I’ll never forget this pool that we played in. It was the nastiest NORCECA pool I’ve ever seen. I won’t forget the emotion of watching Mexico play Puerto Rico, knowing we needed (Puerto Rico) to win just to get out of the pool.”

In the gold medal match, May and Dearing defeated their Canadian teammates, Cam Wheelan and Mike Plantinga, 20-22, 21-14, 15-11.

MEN SEMIFINALS: May/Dearing (CAN1) d Olson/Drost (USA2), 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 17-15); Wheelan/Plantinga (CAN2) d Rodriguez/Haddock (PUR), 2-1 (21-15, 13-21, 15-13); BRONZE MEDAL: Olson/Drost (USA2) d Rodriguez/Haddock (PUR), 21-16, 21-18; GOLD MEDAL: May/Dearing (CAN1) d Wheelan/Plantinga (CAN2), 20-22, 21-14, 15-11

Category: Sports
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