All-American Gold Medal Match on the Beach
LONDON (Aug. 7, 2012) – The 2012 London Olympic Women's Beach Volleyball gold medal match will be an All-American match-up between two-time Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh and first-time Olympians Jennifer Kessy and April Ross.
The finals match is set for Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. local time (1 p.m. PT).The match will be live streamed at NBCOlympics.com.
Olympic Gold Medal Match
No. 3 Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh vs. No. 4 Jennifer Kessy/April Ross (USA)
Aug. 8, 2012 at Horse Guards Parade
9 p.m. local; 1 p.m. PT
- Misty May-Treanor is 35 years old and 5-foot-9; Kerri Walsh is 33 years old; 6-foot-3
- Jennifer Kessy is 35 years old and 6-foot-0; April Ross is 30 years old and 6-foot-1
- May-Treanor and Walsh advanced to the gold medal match by going 3-0 (6-1 in sets) in pool play and winning their first-round match over Netherlands’ Marleen Van Iersel and Sanne Keizer on Saturday, 21-13, 21-12 in 30 minutes. In the quarterfinals, May-Treanor and Walsh beat Italy’s No. 7 Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti, 21-13, 21-13 in 33 minutes. In the semifinals, the U.S. pair defeated China’s No. 2 Chen Xue and Xi Zhang, 22-20, 22-20 in 44 minutes.
- Kessy and Ross advanced to the gold medal match by going 3-0 in pool play (6-2 in sets). In the first round, Kessy and Ross defeated No. 11 Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland, 21-15, 21-19 in 42 minutes. In the quarterfinals, they took a 25-23, 21-18 victory in 49 minutes over Czech Republic’s No. 10 Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova. In the semifinals, Kessy and Walsh beat Brazil’s No. 1 Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva, 15-21, 21-19, 15-12 in 59 minutes.
- With two teams in the women's final, the United States continues its streak of having at least one gold medalist in beach volleyball since its introduction in 1996.
- The United States has earned at least one volleyball medal, either indoor or beach, in every Olympics since 1984.
- May-Treanor and Walsh are 6-0 in London (12-1 in sets) and 20-0 in Olympic matches going back to Athens (40-1 in Olympic sets).
- The two U.S. teams have played each other 32 times in both domestic and international competition, with May-Treanor and Walsh leading the series 27-5.
- The teams have played three times this season. Kessy/Ross won on May 11 at the Beijing Grand Slam, 24-22, 24-22 (:45). May-Treanor/Walsh won on June 10 in Moscow (21-19, 21-19 [:41]) and July 6 in Gstaad (14-21, 21-16, 15-9 [:47]).
- May-Treanor and Walsh lead all women’s beach volleyball teams competing in the Olympic Games in blocks with 22 (1.69 per set) and digs (134 out of 265 attempted; 10.31 per set).
- Kessy and Ross lead all teams in attacks (187 on 315 for a .59 kill percent) and are second in aces (21; 1.4 per set).
- In individual statistics, Wash leads all players in blocks with 21 (1.62 per set). May-Treanor leads in digs with 92 (7.08 per set).
- Ross leads all players in scoring with 117 points on 98 kills, five blocks and 14 aces. May-Treanor is third in scoring with 109 points on 104 kills, one block and four aces.
- Ross is second in aces with 14 (.93 per set) and has clocked the fastest serve of the tournament at 81 kilometers per hour.
- Ross leads all players in attacks with 98 on 154 attempts for a kill percent of .64.
- The last time the U.S. had two teams in the Olympic beach finals was at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta where Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes advanced as did the U.S. team of Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh. Kiraly and Steffes went on to win the gold.
- The only time the U.S. has won more than one medal in an Olympic women’s beach volleyball tournament was in 2004 in Athens when May-Treanor and Walsh took the gold and the U.S. team of Elaine Youngs and Holly McPeak won the bronze.
- The last time two women's teams from the same country squared off for the gold medal was in 1996, when Sandra Pires and Jackie Silva of Brazil defeated their countrywomen Mônica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel.
May-Treanor and Walsh Team Fast Facts
- Joined forces in 2001 and competed in eight FIVB tour events and winning four medals and earning ninth place in the World Championships
- In 2002, played exclusively on the FIVB tour in 11 events, winning five times and placing second three times
- Accumulated the most posts in 2002, becoming the first U.S. team to win the points championship in FIVB history
- In 2003, tallied the first undefeated season in history after winning all 39 matches on the AVP tour. In FIVB play, they advanced to the Final Four in all eight events, winning five times including the World Championship.
- In 2004, their win streak ended at 89 after losing in the Manhattan Beach semifinals
- Took the gold medal in Athens in 2004, sweeping all of their seven opponents
- In 2007, became the first team to win three straight World Championship titles in Gstaad after winning in 2005 and 2003
- Broke their own match-streak record in 2008, winning 112 consecutive matches and 19 straight tournaments including the Olympic Games, where they swept all their opponents en route to their second-straight gold medal
- Walsh had two children between the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and May-Treanor suffered a torn achilles, but the pair reunited in 2011 to make a run for their third consecutive gold medal at the Olympics
- At the London Olympic Games, the U.S. team is competing in its 77th international event and has earned 63 final four appearances with 39 gold medals, 14 silvers, six bronze and three fourth place finishes.
- Born in Los Angeles, Calif. but grew up in Costa Mesa
- 35 years old; 5-foot-9
- Married to professional baseball player Matt Treanor
- Graduated from Long Beach State
- Won an NCAA Championship in 1998 after defeating Penn State in the finals
- NCAA First-Team All American from 1996-1998
- In 1999, made her pro beach debut with Valinda Rouche and competed in one FIVB event with Holly McPeak
- Played entire 2000 season with McPeak and advanced to seven gold-medal matches of 11 FIVB events they competed in
- Garnered her first international win at a Grand Slam event in Chicago, which gave May-Treanor/McPeak enough points to qualify for the Sydney Olympics (placed fifth)
- Partnered with Walsh in 2001 and won four medals in eight events
- In 2008, won her 100th career tournament title in 153 events, the fastest beach volleyball player to reach that milestone
- Tore her achilles tendon during the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” but bounced back to play with Walsh in an AVP event in Brazil and placed second
- AVP Best Defensive Player in 2006 and 2007
- AVP Best Defensive Player (Defender) in 2008
- AVP Best Offensive Player from 2005-2008
- AVP MVP from 2005-2008
- FIVB Best Defensive Player in 2007, 2008 and 2011
- FIVB Best Offensive Player in 2005, 2007 and 2008
- FIVB Best Setter in 2005
- FIVB Most Outstanding in 2005 and 2008
- FIVB Sportsperson in 2007, 2008 and 2010
- Born in Santa Clara, Calif.
- 33 years old; 6-foot-3
- Married to Casey Jennings, a U.S. men’s beach player. They have two children, Joey, 3, and Sundance, 2.
- Graduated from Stanford
- Played at Stanford University
- First Team All American honors from 1996-1999
- Competed in the 2000 Olympics on the Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team as an opposite hitter and played in the medal round, finishing fourth
- Transitioned to the beach in 2001 with Misty May
- Became the fourth U.S. woman to surpass one million dollars in career earnings in 2006
- AVP Best Defensive Player (Blocker) in 2008
- AVP Best Offensive Player in 2003
- AVP MVP in 2003 and 2004
- FIVB Best Blocker 2005-2008 and 2011
- FIVB Best Hitter 2005-2007
- FIVB Best Offensive Player in 2007
- FIVB Most Inspirational in 2011
- FIVB Most Outstanding in 2007
- FIVB Sportsperson 2005-2008
Kessy and Ross Team Fast Facts
- Joined forces in 2007
- Defeated Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the winner’s bracket at Hermosa Beach marking the third time that May-Treanor and Walsh fell before the semifinals on the AVP tour
- Ross ended their debut season ranked in the AVP top-to in three categories: aces per game ( ranked second with .99), kills (ranked sixth with 7.01) and hitting percentage (ranked seventh with .440)
- Became the lowest-seeded team to win an FIVB even in 2007 at the Stavanger Grand Slam
- In 2008, advanced to the semifinals in all but one AVP event and ended the season as the third-ranked team on tour
- Just missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games after finishing seventh in world rankings but only third among U.S. women’s teams
- Won the FIVB World Championships in Stavanger in 2009 marking the fourth-straight time a U.S. women’s team won the event
- During 2009 medaled nine times out of 12 events
- Went on a 21-event streak of AVP championship appearances ending with a third-place finish in Santa Barbara in 2010
- Extended their FIVB podium-appearance streak to eight after competing for a medal in 2010 season’s first five FIVB events
- From October 2008 through the 2010 Moscow Grand Slam, the duo competed for a medal in 17 of their 20 FIVB events
- In 2009, the duo became the sixth team worldwide to amass over one million dollars in career earnings together
- 35 years old and born in Orange, Calif. San Luis Obispo is her hometown
- Graduated from the University of Southern California
- Played for USC all four years of college
- All-PAC 10 selection in 1995-1998
- Earned All-District honors in 1997
- Earned All-American honors in 1998
- Member of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team
- In 2002, played indoor professionally for the Chicago Thunder
- In 2003, played professionally in Puerto Rico
- Made her pro beach debut in 2000 and played in five domestic events along with three international events
- Played with Olympian Barbra Fontana in 2004 and Bronze Medalist and three-time Olympian Holly McPeak in 2005.
- Tallied her first top-20 season (by points) in 2003
- Five fifth-place finishes in 2004 earned her a top-10 player ranking as well as FIVB Most Improved
- Ranked second on the AVP Tour in 2005
- Partnered with Ross for the first time in 2007
- Ranked AVP’s top-11 for seven straight years from 2004-2010
- Surpassed one million dollars in career earnings at Gstaad in 2010, making her the eight woman and sixth American to do so
- AVP Most Improved Player in 2004
- Born in Costa Mesa, Calif.; 30 years old
- Graduated from the University of Southern California
- Started every match during her career at USC
- Led her team in kills and points each year at USC
- Led team in digs till the libero position was installed in 2002
- Named National Freshman of the year in 2000
- Named First Team All-PAC 10 each of her four season
- Second Team AVCA All-American in 2000
- First Team AVCA All-American in 2002 and 2003
- Conference Player of the Year in 2003 (senior year)
- Academic All-PAC 10 honors twice during her career
- Kicked off her pro beach career in 2006 and earned AVP Rookie of the Year
- Ranked ninth on the tour and played with Olympian Barbara Fontana
- Partnered with Jennifer Kessy in 2007
- Became first women to start her pro beach career with three FIVB wins before winning domestically
- Tallied the FIVB’s second-fasted recorded serve in 2008 at 85.7 km/hr in Berlin
- First U.S. women to ever receive FIVB Rookie of the Year
- In 2007, won AVP Most Improved Player
- In 2009 and 2011, named FIVB Best Hitter
- Named FIVB Best Offensive Player in 2009
- Named FIVB Best Server in 2011