Beach Volleyball: Americans Take the Worlds

Outside magazine, May 1994


Beach Volleyball: Americans Take the Worlds
By Todd Balf


At last February's Women's Beach Volleyball World Championships in La Serena, Chile, Americans Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan dropped the first set to their Brazilian rivals 12-9, never having held the lead. In the second set, the world's top-ranked pair was getting pounded 7-1 again when, disgusted, they signaled for a time-out and tried to regroup in front of the crowd of 11,000. "They get five points and we're walking out of here totally humiliated," Masakayan fumed. Coming off a yearlong binge that included 12 wins in 13 tour stops last summer, the Americans were big favorites. Not that the Brazilians, Salgado Isabel and Timm Roseli, were without credentials. They'd just won a major international tourney in Miami a few weeks earlier. Ultimately, Kirby and Masakayan found their game and fought their way back into the match. They eked out a 12-10 win in the second set and a dramatic 15-13 finale to capture the world title--and $76,000 in prize money.

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