Friday, April 18, 2014         

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Wahine volleyball recruit helps U.S. win first beach title

By Ann Miller


Jane Croson, who has verbally committed to the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine volleyball program for 2011, made history last weekend with beach partner Summer Ross.

They became the first U.S. beach volleyball team to win the FIVB Youth (U-19) World Championships, which were played in Porto, Portugal, this year.

Croson, who turns 17 in October, is from Lakewood, Calif. Ross, 17, is from Carlsbad, Calif. They were seeded third and beat the seventh-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Karapischenko and Maria Ushkova, 21-10, 18-21, 15-7, in a 39-minute final.

"Our goal was to come out strong against a very good Russian team and we did it and it may have caught them a little off guard because we hadn't come out this strong during the entire tournament," Croson told USA Volleyball. "Summer is such a great partner, especially playing at the net and I needed to serve well to put the pressure on them and it worked today."

Croson had 13 aces, including six in the decisive third set that put her team up 11-2.

"Winning the SWATCH FIVB Youth World Championship is amazing," Croson said. "It is an honor for both of us to represent our country like this ... a dream come true. This gold medal is for my family, my country and kids my age."

She and Ross won all seven of their matches. They took fifth and seventh in this event the last two years.

This is Croson's third gold medal of the summer. Her indoor teams took first at the USA Volleyball Girls'Junior Nationals and the NORCECA Girls' Youth Continental Championships.

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