POOL C: WALSH JENNINGS/ROSS VS. SWITZERLAND (FORRER/VERGÉ-DÉPRÉ)

After dominating their first two matches, the top American tandem of Kerri Walsh Jennings & April Ross looked to sweep Pool C Wednesday night. Their final opponent was much more difficult than expected as they faced the aggressive Swiss team of Isabelle Forrer & Anouk Vergé-Dépré. Walsh Jennings & Ross began their final game in Pool C with yet another flawless performance. They started the first set on an 8-1 run with Switzerland’s only point coming from an April Ross service fault. Looking virtually unstoppable, Walsh Jennings & Ross cruised to a first set victory, 21-13.

The second set was much more competitive as each team went on runs of their own and battled point-for-point to gain an advantage. The difference was Switzerland’s stifling defense, countering almost every kill attempt April Ross threw at them. Team USA dropped the set, 24-22, which was only the 2nd set ever lost by Kerri Walsh Jennings in her illustrious Olympic career (48-2 set record).

The fearless Swiss pair gave everything they had in the final set, but the deciding factor was ultimately the ageless play of Kerri Walsh Jennings (5 blocks- 16 total in Olympics) & April Ross’ incredible defensive saves (15 digs). Team USA held on to win the third set, 15-12, and will advance to the Round of 16 by winning Pool C. Despite the two set scare, Walsh Jennings & Ross remain in top form and look extremely focused on their mission to win a 4th straight gold medal for Team USA.

POOL C RESULTS

*Walsh Jennings/Ross (USA) – 6 pts

*Wang F/Yue Y (CHN) – 5 pts

*Forrer/Vergé-Dépré (SUI) – 4 pts

Artacho/Laird (AUS) – 3 pts

*advance to Round of 16


POOL A: FENDRICK/SWEAT VS. RUSSIA (BIRLOVA/UKOLOVA)

The other US tandem of Lauren Fendrick & Brooke Sweat went into a win-or-go-home situation Thursday afternoon as they faced the Russian team of Ekaterina Birlova & Evgenia Ukolova. Lauren Fendrick came out on fire, serving two aces as Team USA quickly went up 6-3. However, Russia rebounded with a 7-1 run of their own, as Fendrick/Sweat made some crucial unforced errors during the Russian run. Birlova/Ukolova tactfully countered almost every attack Team USA threw back at them, and won the first set, 21-18.

Fendrick/Sweat came out in the second set the same way they started the match, on a 4-1 run and looking to make a comeback. This time, they ended the second set much differently by utilizing lob shots on kill attempts to neutralize Russia’s length at the net. Birlova/Ukolova battled back to force 5 set points, but Fendrick/Sweat finally broke through, winning the set 26-24 to keep their Olympic dreams alive.

In the third set, Fendrick/Sweat fought until the bitter end, going back-and-forth with Russia until the final match point. In the end, Birlova/Ukolova’s height and length proved to be the winning edge over the inexperienced American tandem. Russia went on to win the final set, 15-13.

Brooke Sweat had one of the gutsiest performances of Rio thus far, playing through a shoulder injury and still finishing with 17 total digs. The US team of Lauren Fendrick & Brooke Sweat are officially eliminated from the Olympics, but played fearlessly until the final whistle in every match.

POOL A RESULTS

*Larissa/Talita (BRA) – 6 pts

*Kołsińska/Brzostek (POL) – 5 pts

^Birlova/Ukolova (RUS) – 4 pts

Fendrick/Sweat (USA) – 3 pts

*advance to Round of 16

^advance to Lucky Losers Bracket


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Author Details
NFL Department Head | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I grew up like most Philly fans in the 90s; watching my dad scream obscenities at the TV as the Eagles lost a heartbreaker. I idolized Allen Iverson (still do), and cried my eyes out when the Sixers lost four straight to the Lakers in the 2001 NBA Finals. I’ve seen some dark days in Philly, but have always Trusted the Process. Still have not stopped celebrating Super Bowl 52 and don’t plan on it anytime soon. Eagles are Super Bowl CHAMPS! Follow me on twitter @matthewlucci_ for some betting “advice” and @matthewlucci on Instagram for stupid pics of me.
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NFL Department Head | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I grew up like most Philly fans in the 90s; watching my dad scream obscenities at the TV as the Eagles lost a heartbreaker. I idolized Allen Iverson (still do), and cried my eyes out when the Sixers lost four straight to the Lakers in the 2001 NBA Finals. I’ve seen some dark days in Philly, but have always Trusted the Process. Still have not stopped celebrating Super Bowl 52 and don’t plan on it anytime soon. Eagles are Super Bowl CHAMPS! Follow me on twitter @matthewlucci_ for some betting “advice” and @matthewlucci on Instagram for stupid pics of me.

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