RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Advancing to the 2016 Olympic beach volleyball quarterfinals are April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings who beat Italy 21-10, 21-16 in their third midnight match of the Games.
Ross and Walsh Jennings topped Italy's Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini in 32 minutes to advance to Sunday's quarterfinal match.
It was the first meeting between the two teams and it came at a very high stake. Italy's Giombini joined Menegatti days before competition started as Viktoria Orsi Toth was removed because of a failed drug test. What presented itself was a new team that other countries had little scouting on.
It wasn't a hurdle for Ross/Walsh Jennings though, as the pair swept the match 21-10, 21-16. In the first set, the score was tied 4-4 but soon after the Americans took the helm and pushed on to 17-8, before shutting it down 21-10.
The second was a bit closer, the teams tied it 8-all before Ross and Walsh Jennings gained one point on them 11-10. That cushion then stretched to 14-11 and the pair eventually moved on to win the set 21-16, and to earn their place in the quarterfinals against the winner of the Poland/Australia.
"We knew that we wanted to get used to the midnight matches because that's when the later rounds are going on," said Walsh Jennings. "And we loved it. We came here with the mindset of 'put us at six in the morning or put us at midnight,' we're going to rock. So we're used to it and it's for sure a benefit for us."
USA's Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena play Austria at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 13, in the round of 16.
DAY IN REVIEW
2016 Olympic Games | Aug. 12
- April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings won their 149th victory by beating Italy's Marta Menegatti/Laura Giombini 21-10, 21-16 in the round of 16.
UPCOMING MATCHES | Add to your schedule
Aug. 13, 11 p.m. ET Round of 16 Dalhausser/Lucena vs Austria
Aug. 14, 11 p.m. ET - Quarterfinal Ross/Walsh Jennings vs Poland/Australia
Aug. 6, Gibb/Patterson def Qatar 21-16, 21-16
Aug. 6, Ross/Walsh Jennings def Australia 21-14, 21-13
Aug. 7, Fendrick/Sweat loss Poland 14-21, 21-13, 15-7
Aug. 7, Dalhausser/Lucena def Tunisia 21-7, 21-13
Aug. 8, Gibb/Patterson loss Austria 21-18, 21-18
Aug. 8, Ross/Walsh Jennings def China 21-16, 21-9
Aug. 9, Dalhausser/Lucena def Mexico 21-14, 21-17
Aug. 9, Fendrick/Sweat loss Brazil 21-16, 21-13
Aug. 10, Gibb/Patterson loss Spain 21-19, 16-21, 15-7
Aug. 10, Ross/Walsh Jennings def Switzerland 21-13, 22-24, 15-12
Aug. 11, Fendrick/Sweat loss Russia 21-18, 24-26, 15-13
Aug. 11, Dalhausser/Lucena def Italy 21-13, 17-21, 24-22
Aug. 12, Ross/Walsh Jennings def Italy 21-10, 21-16