Well, the first round of single elimination is over and all four American teams advance to the quarterfinals.
Yesterday, the world got to watch Kerri Walsh celebrate her 30th birthday in typical May/Walsh style as they defeated Belgium in their first round of single elimination play. It was a rocky beginning but Misty and Kerry found their groove and won in two straight. They will face Brazil’s Ana Paula and Larissa in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs saw similar success as they cruised past Cuba’s Fernandez/Larrea 21-15, 21-13. They move on to the quarterfinals to face China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi. If they win
tomorrow, they will have to face a hometown again in the semi’s, this time Tian Jia/Wang.
On the men’s side, things were a little tougher. In a match too closer for comfort, the Swiss duo of Laciga/Schnider gave reigning world champions Dalhausser/Rogers a good fight after losing game 2, 21-16. After the game 2 loss, the Swiss found themselves with a 6-0 lead in Game 3. Just as quick as the Swiss gained their 6 point advantage, Phil and Todd rallied to take the lead and never gave it back. They won 15-13 and advance to the quarterfinals on Monday.
In similar fashion, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal went point for point against Spain’s Herrera/Mesa in game 1 but finally pulled the win 26-24. With Rosie’s Raiders, the Gibb clan, and fans chanting “Superman” and “Big Nasty”, Gibb/Rosenthal went on to finish the match in two games, knocking Spain out of play. Rosenthal lived up to his nickname as he recorded 10 digs against Spain. Gibb/Rosie advance to the semi-finals where they will face Brazil’s reigning gold medalists Ricardo/Emanuel. Neither team has to worry about a hometown advantage as China was eliminated by Germany this morning in two straight games.
Also this evening was Kerri Walsh’s 30th birthday party. Hosted by Lenovo, the party was a great chance for some of the Olympians take a break from volleyball and enjoy Beijing! Attendees included May-Treanor and Casey Jennings.