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Clemens, Bantle Finish Ninth at 2014 U21 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships

The junior from Carmel, Indiana placed in the top-10 at the World Championships for the second consecutive year (FIVB).

FIVB U21 World Championships Results
Photo Gallery (Courtesy FIVB and Bob Clemens)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – One year after finishing ninth at the 2013 U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Umag, Croatia, Branden Clemens accomplished a similar feat in Lanarka, Cyprus. Together with his partner Jackson Bantle, a sophomore outside hitter from UCLA, Clemens fought to a ninth-place finish in his second FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships after advancing to the round of 16.

"It was a phenomenal experience, both validating and humbling, to play against the best players from around the world," said Clemens about competing at the World Championships, "It was an honor and privilege to compete in Cyprus, and I enjoyed every minute of it."

Clemens and Bantle entered the World Championships as the ninth ranked team in the tournament, which consisted of 36 squads from around the globe. The duo advanced through the group stage with a top-four finish that included wins over duos from Saint Lucia and Sierra Leone in straight sets. Advancing to the knockout round, the USA tandem defeated the Netherlands' Jasper Bouter and Steven Van de Velde, 13-21, 21-19, 15-11.

Clemens and Bantle were knocked out in the round of 16 by Norway's Christian Sandlie Sorum and Hendick Nikolai Mol H, the eighth seed, by set scores of 21-13 and 21-15.

As a sophomore at Harvard, Clemens appeared in 23 matches, registering a 1.13 kps for the Crimson, which finished with a 15-8 overall record. The team earned a program-best ranking of 13th in the nation and spent four weeks in the AVCA Division I-II top-15 in 2014.

Clemens' success on the sand began before his start in Cambridge, as he won the 2011 AAU Beach U18 National Championship and the 2010 AAU Junior Olympic Games Beach Championship.