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Olympics: Ex-Sailors will meet for gold

May-Treanor and Ross advance from semifinals and will battle for gold medal on Wednesday.

August 07, 2012
  • April Ross, in her first Olympics, will play for gold medal in London.
April Ross, in her first Olympics, will play for gold medal… (SCOTT SMELTZER )

Tars are indeed stars at the 30th Olympiad in London, where Newport Harbor High products Misty May-Treanorand April Ross both advanced with their partners to the women's beach volleyball gold-medal match scheduled Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT.

May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, will be playing for a third straight gold medal in their final Olympics after the duo handled No. 2-seeded Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China, 22-20, 22-20, in Tuesday's semifinals.

May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings are unbeaten in the last three Olympic tournaments, including six wins in London. They lost only one set in this tournament, after having swept all their opponents in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing. They have a 20-match winning streak in Olympic competition, during which they have won 40 of 41 sets.

Ross and partner Jennifer Kessy, in their first Olympics, got past Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca, 15-21, 21-19, 15-12, in Tuesday's semifinals. Ross and Kessy are also 6-0, though they have lost three sets in London.

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Ross had 20 kills in 28 attempts on Tuesday to go with 12 digs and two ace serves.

May-Treanor had 22 kills in 48 attempts against the Chinese, who claimed a bronze medal in Beijing. She also collected 17 digs.

This will be the 33rd meeting between the two American teams, with May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings holding a 27-5 advantage. The two-time defending gold medalists are 11-2 in international tournaments against the former USC standouts and have won the last two, including a 24-22, 24-22 triumph in a 45-minute battle in Beijing on May 11, 2012.

Thus far in the tournament, May-Treanor has 104 kills and 92 digs, while Walsh Jennings has 58 kills, 20 blocks, 10 aces and 41 digs. The duo has 13 combined aces and have only 13 service errors between them. May-Treanor is at .437 in hitting efficiency in London, while Walsh Jennings is at a .563 rate.

Ross has 98 kills to lead her team, as do her 56 digs and 14 aces. Her hitting efficiency is .617. Kessy has 89 kills (a .553 efficiency rating) with 10 blocks, 46 digs and seven aces.

Ross and Kessy have combined for 21 aces. But they also have a combined 45 service errors.

Wednesday's winner will join rower Esther Lofgren (U.S. women's eight) as Newport Harbor High graduates to win gold medals in London.

Newport Harbor has been represented on the medal stand in every Olympics since Atlanta and in seven of the last eight Summer Games, since the American boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980.

— From staff reports

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