May-Treanor, Walsh One Step Away from Gold

Aug. 19, 2008, 6:42 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

BEIJING (Aug. 19, 2008) – The U.S. beach volleyball team of Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.) have just one more step to climb toward winning their second Olympic gold medal.

May-Treanor and Walsh, ranked second, advanced to Thursday’s gold-medal match by defeating Brazil’s No. 6 Talita Antunes and Renata Ribeiro, 21-12, 21-14 on Tuesday at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Grounds.

On Thursday, they will play China’s top-ranked Jia Tian and Jie Wang in the gold medal match. Talita and Renata will play China’s fourth-ranked Chen Xue and Xi Zhang in the bronze-medal match.

May-Treanor and Walsh’s match winning streak is now 107. The last time they lost a match was Aug. 19 at the AVP Crocs Tour event in Boston when they fell to Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) in the final, 21-15, 19-21, 14-16.

The last time May-Treanor and Walsh lost a set was July 13 at the AVP Tour event in Chicago when they defeated Branagh and Youngs in the final, 18-21, 21-17, 15-12.

They have won 13 straight Olympic matches and 26 straight Olympic sets.

“We don’t think about numbers,” May-Treanor said. “The only numbers we think about are 21, winning in two sets and finishing No. 1.”

The numbers on Wednesday added up to a pretty easy victory in 39 minutes. Walsh set the pace with 12 kills, three blocks and two aces along with two digs. May-Treanor added 10 kills, one block and six digs along with many sets for Walsh.

May-Treanor and Walsh also took advantage of 14 errors by the Brazilians while making only three themselves.

“Renata and Talita are an amazing team and they push us every time we play them,” Walsh said. “I feel like we played a very complete game. When you play against players like Renata and Talita, it makes you play better.”

In the first set, May-Treanor and Walsh jumped out to a 5-1 lead and increased it to 12-5 as the Brazilian errors started to mount. May-Treanor and Walsh reached set point first at 20-11. A serving error made it 20-12 before May-Treanor’s kill won the set.

The second set was closer as the score was tied 6-6 and again at 10-10. Two Brazil errors gave the United States a 12-10 lead. A U.S. error brought Brazil to within one at 12-11, but a Brazil error made it 13-11. Brazil scored one more point to get to 13-12 before the United States went on a 6-0 run to make it 20-12. Renata and Talita held off the loss for two serves before making an error to end the match.


Pool Play
Aug. 10: Walsh/May-Treanor USA [2] def. Teru Saiki/Kusuhara JPN [23], 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) 0:33
Aug. 12: Walsh/May-Treanor USA [2] def. Fernandez Grasset/Larrea Peraza CUB [14], 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) 0:35
Aug. 14: Walsh/May-Treanor USA [2] def. Nila/Ingrid NOR [11], 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) 0:37

Round of 16
Aug. 15: Walsh/May-Treanor USA [2] def. van Breedam/Mouha [13], 2-0 (24-22, 21-10) 0:38

Aug. 17: Walsh/May-Treanor USA [2] def. Ana Paula/Larissa BRA [3], 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) 0:39

Aug. 19: Walsh/May-Treanor USA [2] def. Talita/Renata BRA [6], 2-0 (21-12, 21-14) 0:39

Aug. 21 at 11 a.m.: Tian Jia-Wang CHN [1] vs. Walsh/May-Treanor USA [2]