European duos fail to make it to semifinals of women's tournament
2012 Olympic Games
London, Great Britain, August 5, 2012. After two dominanting performances by winning teams from China and the USA, the third time was when things got really close but USA’s Jennifer Kessy/April Ross eventually wore down Czech Republic’s Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova enough to kept the sold out stadium crowd on its collective feet as they won the third women’s quarterfinal match of the evening on the road to the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition at Horse Guards Parade in central London.
A total 24 women’s beach volleyball teams from 17 countries started playing in London on July 28 in the purpose-built, sold-out 15,000-seat stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parade as the majestic venue also includes a portion of adjacent St. James Park in historic central London.
USA’s Kessy/Ross the 2009 FIVB SWATCH World Champions were in a tough battle with the young, less-experienced Czech Republic’s Kolocova/Slukova, and used experience to score enough and take advantage of miscues to win in two sets, 25-23, 21-18 in 49 minutes to advance to the semifinals.
In their first meet of 2012 USA’s Kessy/Ross increased their international record against Czech Republic’s Kolocova/Slukova to 6-1. The Czech Republic’s Kolocova/Slukova, both just 24, leave London with a 3-2 record and an official ninth place finish in the London 2012 Olympic Games. In the round of 16 the Czech women pulled off the biggest upset of the women’s competition when they defeated Brazil’s fifth-seeded Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes in three sets on Saturday. Afterwards, Kessy commented: “I was so impressed with April’s serving, every ball she got she put away and that’s why we managed to roll over the Czechs when they pushed on us. We had that cushion in the end, especially in the second set when they came back. We needed to win that first set as it was really crucial. I was impressed by our composure when it mattered, or at least most of the time.”
In the first two quarterfinals at Horse Guards Parade, China’s Chen Xue/Xi Zhang, the bronze medalists in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, eliminated Austria’s sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger, 2-0 and USA’s Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh, two-time defending Olympic gold medalists, extended their streak to 19 consecutive matches in the Olympic Games defeating Italy’s Greta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti, 2-0.
In the last quarterfinal Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca, reigning FIVB SWATCH World Champions and six-time FIVB SWATCH World Tour champs, edged Germany’s Sara Goller/Lauras Ludwig in straight sets too (21-10, 21-19).
In their Tuesday semifinal, USA’s Kessy/Ross will meet Larissa/Juliana while in the other semifinal on Tuesday, China’s Xue/Zhang will meet USA’s May-Treanor/Walsh.
For more information and full features visit www.fivb.org