The duo that won gold in Beijing in 2008 did play hard. May-Treanor, the former Newport Harbor High standout, and Kerri Walsh won the FIVB World Tour's first Grand Slam of the season.
The fifth-seeded pair beat Germany's Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler, the No. 31 seeds, 21-14, 24-26, 15-9, Saturday. It is the first international gold medal since 2008 for May-Treanor and Walsh. The two-time Olympic gold medalists and three-time world champions claimed their 36th career FIVB gold medal.
"I love it and I love being with Kerri," May-Treanor told Universal Sports, referring to how it feels to win in Beijing. "I think that's the best part about this whole thing right now is just being with Kerri through this whole experience."
This week's gold-medal run started out rough for May-Treanor and Walsh. They lost their first match of the tournament. Perhaps it was rust, as May-Treanor had sat out the past two World Tour events rehabilitating her left knee she sprained April 30. She played in Beijing with a large knee brace.
After that opening loss, May-Treanor and Walsh won six straight. Before taking down the Germans, they had to beat the No. 3-seeded team of Jen Kessy and April Ross, also a former Newport Harbor star.
May-Treanor and Walsh scored a 17-21, 21-13, 15-13 win in the semifinals. It was the first time the top two U.S. teams squared off since 2008. According to Universal Sports, May-Treanor and Walsh now lead the head-to-had series against Ross and Kessy, 22-3 and 6-0 in FIVB matches.
Ross and Kessy bounced back to win the bronze-medal match against No. 14-seeded Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti of Italy, 21-18, 21-18. It was the third bronze medal for Ross and Kessy this season.
The American teams are considered contenders in the FIVB World Championships in Rome, which begin Monday.
— From staff reports