Beach Update: Walsh Jennings/Sweat Make it Official

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Oct. 11, 2018, 5:01 p.m. (ET)

Beach volleyball players Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 10, 2018) – Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat have made it official: They will be partners in a run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The team will make its debut at the FIVB World Tour four-star event on Oct. 17-21 in Las Vegas.

Walsh Jennings compared Sweat to Misty May-Treanor, with whom Walsh Jennings won three Olympic gold medals.

“Brooke really sits in the same vein as Misty,” Walsh Jennings told NBC OlympicTalk. “Brooke is her own athlete and has her own assets and strengths, but largely what Misty and Brooke share in common is their inherent knowledge in the game and the fact it’s in her blood. You can just tell she gets it.”

This week, Walsh Jennings, 40, will compete at the FIVB four-star event in Yangzhou, China with Kelly Claes. She started the summer competing with Nicole Branagh, but that pairing split in July.

Sweat, 32, took bronze with Summer Ross at the Fort Lauderdale Major to open the season. After Ross paired with Sara Hughes, Sweat played at the FIVB four-star in Huntington Beach in May with her former partner, Lauren Fendrick, with whom she competed at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Sweat ended her 2018 summer season after Huntington to have surgery on her right shoulder.

Walsh Jennings, a five-time Olympian, is looking forward to the new partnership.

“The times I’ve enjoyed the most success, consistent success, that was when there was a true defender behind me, that made me a big blocker,” Walsh Jennings told NBC OlympicTalk. “Brooke, literally, could be the best defender in the world.”

NORCECA BOCA CHICA

April Ross/Alix Klineman took gold and Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen won bronze on Oct. 7 at the NORCECA Beach Tour event in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.

Ross/Klineman beat Canada’s top-seeded Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson in the final, 12-16, 21-18. Ross/Klineman battled Stockman/Larsen in the semifinals, 21-18, 19-21, 22-20.

In the bronze-medal match, Larsen/Stockman beat Cuba’s Arlin Hechavarría/Yanisleidis Sánchez, 21-14, 21-19.

On the men’s side, Billy Allen/Ryan Doherty finished fourth and Eric Zaun/Avery Drost placed seventh.

YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES

Devon Newberry/Lindsey Sparks won their pool at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games with a 3-0 record. They did not drop a set.

Tim Brewster/John Schwengel finished second in pool play at 2-1.

Both teams will be off on Oct. 12 as pool play is completed. Single elimination competition begins on Oct. 13.

Oct. 9-14: FIVB World Tour Four-Star in Yanzhou, China

U.S. Teams
Summer Ross/Sarah Hughes
April Ross/Alix Klineman
Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen
Kerri Walsh Jennings/Kelly Claes
Betsi Flint/Emily Day

Ryan Doherty/Billy Allen
Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick
Miles Evans/Bill Kolinske
Mark Burik/David Lee

Sports Medicine: Joe Houde
Sports Medicine: Jen Watters

Oct. 16-21: FIVB World Tour Four-Star in Las Vegas, Nev.

U.S. Teams
Summer Ross/Sarah Hughes
April Ross/Alix Klineman
Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen
Kerri Walsh Jennings/Brooke Sweat
Betsi Flint/Emily Day
Nicole Branagh/Brittany Howard
Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil
Lauren Fendrick/Brittany Hochevar

Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb
Ryan Doherty/Bill Allen
Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick
Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb
Sean Rosenthal/Chase Budinger
Bill Kolinske/Miles Evans
Reid Priddy/Jeremy Casebeer
Avery Drost/Eric Zaun

USAV Staff: Tyler Hildebrand
USAV Staff: Sean Scott
USAV Staff: Phil Noyes