Even on American soil with a packed stadium of raucous, red-white-and-blue clad fans cheering for the opposing teams, Brazil retained its hold on FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour dominance, winning both the men’s and women’s gold medals at the World Series of Beach Volleyball on Alamitos Beach in Long Beach, California.
On the women’s side, Kerri Walsh Jenningsswinging with her left hand and serving underhanded due to a twice-dislocated shoulderand April Ross displayed remarkable drive and creativity in their road to the final of the Long Beach Grand Slam, but it wasnt enough to defeat Talita Da Rocha Antunes and Larissa Franca Maestrini, who won their fourth title this year with a 21-18, 21-16 victory over the Americans.
>> Scenes from the women’s gold-medal match:
Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Alison Cerutti, the No. 1 ranked men’s team in the world, won their fourth-straight FIVB title, taking down the newly-formed American team of Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser in a three-set gold medal match.
Despite coming up a few points short of the top of the podium, two American teams that really needed a strong finish performed well, ending the tournamentLucena and Dalhausser’s first international event in their renewed partnership and Ross and Walsh Jennings first since the Gstaad Grand Slam in early Julywith 720 Olympic qualification points.
Up next, the top six American women’s teams and top four American men’s teams travel to Poland to compete in the Olsztyn Grand Slam, while the rest of the pros head to Chicago for the AVP Chicago Open.
>> Watch a clip of the match between Walsh Jennings and Ross and Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany: