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May-Treanor collects first place, Lambert takes third

June 25, 2007

PARIS — Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh "followed their game plan" to gain revenge and to regain the top of the podium in front of the Eiffel Tower Sunday.

May-Treanor, a Newport Harbor High product, and Walsh won the women's gold medal in the final match of the Federation International de Volleyball's Henkel Grand Chelem.

They also collected the $43,000 first-place prize.

With their 21-15, 21-12 win in 42 minutes over third-seeded Jia Tian and Jie Wang, the second-seeded May-Treanor and Walsh avenged an elimination setback to the Chinese in the Austrian grand slam last August.

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It was the lowest international finish since a 1992 ninth for May-Treanor and Walsh.

In addition, May-Treanor and Walsh regained the Henkel Grand Chelem title after losing the 2006 gold medal match on the Champ de Mars to Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil in three sets.

A year earlier on May-Treanor's 27th birthday, they defeated Silva and Franca in the inaugural Henkel Grand Chelem finale.

"We were better prepared for this match," May-Treanor said in a press release. "Kerri did a great job at the net that allowed me to defend behind her block. Obviously, we were pointing to this match since Jia and Jie eliminated us in Austria last year. They are a great team, but we put a lot of pressure on them with our game plan today."

For May-Treanor it was her 25th SWATCH title with Walsh and 28th FIVB crown overall.

It was the second time that May-Treanor and Walsh had played a Chinese team for a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal. The reigning Olympic and two-time world champions Americans won the first-ever international Beach Volleyball title meeting between the two countries in June 2006 at Athens by defeating Lu Wang and Linjun Ji.

May-Treanor and Walsh now hold a 3-1 edge in the series with Tian and Wang, who shared the $29,500 second-place prize. The Chinese were competing in their fourth final this season with one goal medal in the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season opener in Shanghai last month.

On the men's side, in the bronze medal match, 14th-seeded Mike Lambert of Costa Mesa and Stein Metzger posted a 21-12 and 21-17 win over sixth-seeded Julius Brink and Christoph Dieckmann of Germany to split $23,000 for third-place.

May-Treanor and Lambert return to the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Tour, July 5-8, at Seaside Heights, N.J.

— From staff reports

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