Ross-Walsh Jennings Continue Run Into Olympic Semifinal|
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Aug. 14, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Representing the United States, three-time USC women's volleyball All-American outside hitter April Ross and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings needed just 40 minutes to complete a 21-14, 21-16 win over Australia's duo of Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy in the quarterfinals at the Beach Volleyball Arena on the sands of Copacabana Beach on Sunday, Aug. 14.
Bawden and Clancy jumped out to a 4-1 lead to open the match, but Ross and Walsh Jennings turned it on with an 8-4 run to grab their first lead of the match at 9-8. The Australians tied the score on the next rally, and trailed by just one point at 11-10, but Ross-Walsh Jennings pulled away for a 17-11 lead thanks to a 5-0 run. The pairs traded points to end a 21-14 first-set decision.
The second set was similarly tight with a 10-all tie through 20 rallies. This time, a 7-2 burst by the American tandem put the match seemingly out of reach at 17-12. The teams traded points again to a 20-14 USA lead before Australia scored two unanswered points to pull within four, 20-16. Ross tooled the final point off the Aussie block for the kill and a spot in the semifinals.
Ross is going for her second straight Olympic medal. She won silver in 2012 with partner and former USC All-American Jennifer Kessy. Walsh Jennings seeks her fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal. She won the previous three with beach volleyball legend and former USC assistant coach Misty May-Treanor.
Up next, Ross and Walsh Jennings face the home-country pair of Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas de Freitas in the semifinals on Tuesday, Aug. 16. The Brazilians defeated Russia's tandem of Ekaterina Birlova and Evgenia Ukolova in straight sets, 23-21, 21-16, in an earlier quarterfinal. Time for the USA-Brazil match is still to be determined. Bronze- and gold-medal matches are slated for Wednesday, Aug. 17. Fans can watch Ross-Walsh Jennings streamed live on NBCSports.com and via the NBC app.
For more information on all of USC's 44 Olympic athletes, a complete schedule of events, and results, please visit www.USCTrojans.com/rio2016. Use the hashtag #USC2RIO to join the conversation and follow @USC_Athletics on social media.
For more information on the two-time national champion USC beach volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCBeach on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat.