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Americans rule the beach

By Mike Bresnahan
Los Angeles Times

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 08, 2012


LONDON » The deficits were there, overwhelmingly and stunningly.

They're the reason Kerri Walsh Jennings cried at the end.

Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor came back twice from uniquely ominous places to pull out a 22-20, 22-20 victory in a women's Olympic beach volleyball semifinal match Tuesday against China's Xue Chen and Zhang Xi.

Strikingly, a third gold medal might not be out of the question for the U.S. tandem in its last tournament after 11 years together.

The comeback stories weren't limited to Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor, who will play the U.S. team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy in the finals Wednesday.

Ross and Kessy had lost nine times to Brazil's Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva before finally beating them in the other semifinal amid a steady rain, 15-21, 21-19, 15-12.

"It's going to be crazy," Walsh Jennings said. "(A victory) is what Misty deserves. It's what we deserve. We're the best team in the world. No disrespect to anyone else, but we know how to beat these teams. We're better than them and now we need to execute."

Kessy and Ross are consistently among the top finishers in international tournaments but have won only once in their last 22 tries.

Just don't call them that other U.S. team.

"No, no. Don't do that," Kessy said. "We are our own team. Kerri and Misty deserve everything that they get and we know why they're famous and we know why they have two gold medals.

"But April and I are here and we're in the finals. It's not just the other U.S. team anymore."

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