By Gary R. Blockus | Oct. 14, 2017, 11:55 p.m. (ET)
Brooke Sweat (R) and Summer Ross celebrate winning the bronze-medal match at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Qinzhou Open on Oct. 15, 2017 in Qinzhou, China.

 

U.S. Olympian Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross won the bronze medal at the FIVB World Tour Qinzhou Open, a 3-star tournament, on Sunday in China.

Sweat and Ross defeated China’s Wang Fan and Xinyi Xia – seeded No. 1 – in straight sets by scores of 21-18, 21-13 in the bronze-medal match to reach their second World Tour podium together.

Sweat and Ross came into the tournament ranked No. 8 in the world after finishing fifth at the world championships last July. They earned silver at the 3-star event in June in Moscow, which provided Sweat with her first tour medal since 2013.

The Americans trailed 8-4 in the opening set against Wang and Xia but rallied to tie it at 11 before going up 13-11. The teams were tied at 18 before Sweat and Ross ran the next three points to win the set. In the second set, they broke from five early ties, the final one at 7, to win going away.

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The second-seeded Sweat and Ross, both ball control players, were upset in straight sets during their semifinals to Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek, the No. 30 seed in the tournament.  

The Polish duo needed 33 minutes for wins of 21-17, 21-18 to send the Americans into the bronze-medal match. Sweat and Ross had won three matches in straight sets leading up to the loss.  

Kolosinska and Kociolek also eliminated No. 3 seeds April Ross and Kelly Claes of the U.S. in the opening round Thursday.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.