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Beach Volleyball: Women’s Semifinals
Images from the women’s beach volleyball semifinals at the 2012 London Olympics from Horse Guards Parade on August 7, 2012.
- Best Of London: Jen Kessy April Ross
- Best Of London: Misty May Kerri Walsh
- Women Of Beach Volleyball
LONDON — Will it be a storybook ending for Misty May-Treanor<!––> and Kerri Walsh Jennings<!––>? Or will Jen Kessy<!––> and April Ross<!––> literally and figuratively take over as the best women’s beach volleyball team in America?
Wednesday night’s match has all sorts of implications. Here’s a look at a few:
May/Walsh turn it on when necessary
They’re not the top two seeds, but May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings and Kessy/Ross have been the best two teams in London. May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings were pushed in pool play by each of the three teams they played, but when things got close, they took over. Then they raised it to a new level in the elimination rounds, absolutely dominating very good teams from the Netherlands and Italy. In the semis, May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings not only took out the No. 1 team in 2012, they trailed by six points in the first set, only to respond with a 6-0 scoring run. They controlled the rest of the match.
Kessy/Ross come through
Kessy and Ross were also pushed by tough teams in pool play, but didn’t drop a set in the round of 16 or quarterfinals to even stronger teams. The pressure was seemingly all on No. 1 Brazil in their semifinal matchup, but Kessy and Ross were more than determined to beat a team they’d lost to nine straight times. Their diligent film study paid off and they flustered a duo that had been the world’s best women’s team since 2008. They hope to do the same to the best women’s team of all time.
Last match for May-Treanor with Walsh Jennnings
May-Treanor announced before arriving in London that these would be her fourth and final Games, thus ending an 11-year partnership with Walsh Jennings. They have won 103 career titles, the biggest among those being three world championships and two Olympic gold medals. But a third Olympic title in their last match together would be the greatest of them all.
Kessy and Ross will be new No. 1
Regardless of who wins the London gold, Kessy and Ross will become the new No. 1 team among Americans. Walsh Jennings doesn’t yet know who she’ll play with after these Olympics end, but her partnership won’t immediately be superior to Kessy and Ross’. A gold medal in their Olympic debut would only make Kessy and Ross’ new No. 1 status more definitive. They appreciate all that May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings have done for the sport of beach volleyball, but Kessy and Ross would love nothing more than to hand them their first loss at the Olympics in their final match together.
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