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Olympics: Final golden moment

Misty May-Treanor earns third straight Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball. Ross gets silver as Sailors collide in final.

August 08, 2012|By Barry Faulkner | By Barry Faulkner
  • Misty May-Treanor lets out a celebratory scream after winning her third straight Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball on Wednesday in London.
Misty May-Treanor lets out a celebratory scream after… (Robert Gauthier…)

Like most Americans, Dan Glenn had a rooting interest on both sides of the net Wednesday. The Newport Harbor High girls' volleyball coach entering his 27th season said watching the live afternoon feed of the women's beach volleyball gold-medal match from the Olympics in London, in which former Sailors Misty May-Treanor and April Ross and their respective partners did battle, was a win-win situation.

"[Tuesday's semifinals] was the big day," Glenn said of May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings defeating the No. 2-seeded Chinese duo, while Ross and Jennifer Kessy rallied to beat the top-seeded Brazilian tandem to set up the All-American final. "That was the nervous day. [Wednesday] was just completely different, because there was no enemy. I knew one of them was going to come through."

After May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings defeated Ross and Kessy, 21-16, 21-16, to claim their third straight Olympic gold medal and cap an unprecedented career together as partners, Glenn talked glowingly about both of his former players.

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"There's no better way for Misty to go out," Glenn said of May-Treanor, who said before the games that she would retire after the tournament. "It's unbelievable. Three gold medals. People talk about Michael Phelps [the U.S. men's swimmer who earned his record 22nd Olympic medal and 18th gold medal in London], but Misty has only one event and she has three golds and a bronze. And I like her chances for another gold that first year [2000 in Sydney, Australia] had she not pulled an abdominal muscle and been hurt.

"And I'm so proud of April and Jen. They had lost to the Brazilians nine times in a row and 18 of the last 22, and [Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca] were ranked the No. 1 team in the world. To lose the first game and to fall apart a little bit at the end, then be down in the second game and come back, it brought tears to my eyes."

May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings improved to 28-5 overall against Ross and Kessy, including a 12-2 mark in international play.

Glenn said his two former standouts, whose four-year high school careers did not overlap, showed the world what he saw in them since they walked onto the practice floor as 14-year-old freshmen.

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