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Walsh Jennings And Ross Overcome Italy To Advance To Beach Volleyball Quarterfinals

By Associated Press | Aug. 12, 2016, 11:38 p.m. (ET)

April Ross (L) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (R) celebrate a point during the women's Round of 16 match against Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini of Italy at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on Aug. 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross advanced to the quarterfinals of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament.

The Italians led in each set, but the Americans rallied to put them away 21-10, 21-16 in just 35 minutes. That made it an early night -- of sorts -- for the fans who came out to watch the three-time gold medalist play at midnight.

It was the third time in four Olympic matches that Walsh Jennings and Ross were slotted for the midnight match -- the better to showcase them on American television. While previous matches had pockets of empty seats -- this one was packed.

Among those in the stands: U.S. comedian and "Ghostbusters" star Leslie Jones, who draped an American flag around her shoulders and led her section in cheering.

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