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Partain Earns Gold on the Sand

Oct 25, 2022
Miles Partain in action at the Dubai Challenger

UCLA men's volleyball setter Miles Partain won the gold medal on the sand on Tuesday evening at the Volleyball World Dubai Challenger 1 event. The win came in just the second international pro beach event of his career.

Partain and his partner Andy Benesh swept Brazil's Pedro Salgado and Arthur Mariano in the semifinals. The American pair then repeated the process in the gold medal match with a 21-15, 21-17 win over Ukraine's Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik. It was the first gold medal by a U.S. pair since November of 2019.

During the recently completed AVP Tour, Partain made six semifinals in eight events with his then-partner Paul Lotman. He won his first AVP event in Atlanta and came up just short of a win at the season-ending Phoenix Gold Series Championships.

In two international tournaments, which includes the Dubai Challenger and last week's Challenger in the Maldives, Partain and Benesh have posted a 12-1 record which includes wins in 24 of 28 sets. Their only loss on the Beach Pro Tour to date has been a 20-22, 20-22 battle in the Maldives quarterfinal match with former world No. 1 — and eventual Maldives gold medalists — Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar.

"He's such a special player," Benesh said after the win. "I think we really vibe well on and off the court. We have a really good thing going and I feel like we're just scratching the surface. We're not going to be complacent. We're going to try and push more."

"It's an adventure," Partain said. "It's a mystery and that's what makes it fun." "Life is a lot of hills and valleys and if you can steady that out, it's a testament to one's character." "We'll try our best."