The beach volleyball quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics have been decided and April Ross and Alix Klineman are the only Americans left on the field.
For this reason, the A-Team competes in the Games for the first time on consecutive days.
That’s because they opened the game at Shiokaze Park on Monday with a round of 16 for Cubans Lidiannis Echeverria and Leila Martinez, and then on Tuesday they get things going again that will become one of the showcase games of the tournament.
The second-placed Ross and Klineman play the 18th-placed Germans Laura Ludwig and Maggie Kozuch.
The other American couple, who were seeded in 10th place on Monday, Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne, saw their run with a loss in the round of 16 against the seventh seeded Germans Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler 17-21, 21-15, 15-11 .
“I’m done this year,” said Gibb, the oldest player in the field at 45. “I can go home and play a few AVP tournaments and I’ll coach my kids’ soccer games.”
He said he was done with the international competition.
Wickler said: “He is a true legend of our sport and it was a great honor to play against him tonight.”
This is what the quarter-finals look like:
The women will start the game between Ross-Klineman and the Germans on Tuesday morning. Then the Brazilians Ana Patricia Silva and Rebecca Cavalcanti play the Swiss Anouk Vérgé-Depre and Joana Heidrich.
Then they take a 12-hour break and come back that night with Latvians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka against Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson, before Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes meet Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy .
The men are free.
Click here for the women’s schedule on Tuesday and here for the men’s lineup on Wednesday.
ROSS-KLINEMAN – Ross won silver in London with Jen Kessy in 2012 and bronze in Rio with Kerri Walsh Jennings in 2016. Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst won gold in Rio.
In this tournament the A-Team went 3-0 play in the pool and then beat the Cubans 21-17, 21-15. Ludwig and Kozuch, who went 2-1 in the pool game, defeated third-placed Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa 21-19, 19-21, 16-14.
While they know the Germans very well, the Cubans were a stranger.
“They’re a team we’ve never seen before. We knew they were very good. It’s a little hard to know what to expect, ”said Ross.
“Alix even said between sets that we know they can play a lot better so let’s be ready for that and they came out in the second set and served really, really well. Fortunately, we were able to adjust and handle that on the track. We knew we had to turn it up a little too. And we just keep trying to make it work for us. “
GIBB-BOURNE – “It was amazing, weird, emotional and sad and exciting and terrible and the craziest three weeks of my life,” said Gibb.
Bourne, of course, was a belated sub for Gibbs usual partner Taylor Crabb, who tested positive for COVID before the games. Bourne’s regular partner is Crabb’s brother Trevor. Gibb-Bourne, ranked 10th, won their first two pool matches and was the surprise of the tournament. Thole and curler are sown with number 7.
“It was a crazy game, really tense,” said Thole. “To win against such a great opponent Jake with such a great career in the end. It’s unbelievable what he did and in the end we won and that makes us really proud. “
At the start of the tournament, when he and Nick Lucena were eliminated, Phil Dalhausser said he would retire from international competition, Gibb sounded a familiar chorus.
“I can’t really cope with that at the moment, I want to go home to my family and just sit for a while. It was crazy, ”said Gibb. “That was the toughest Olympics I’ve ever participated in.
“I’m just trying to understand. I am sad that Taylor is not with me. And I’m also proud that Tri stepped in. But that was a journey we went on together. Thanks to this guy (Bourne) who performed in weird, strange circumstances and he just played some great balls.
“At the same time, I went on this trip with Taylor and I’m just sad that he’s not with me right now.”
Bourne, whose comeback from an autoimmune disease is well documented, was grateful for the chance.
“Definitely crazy. To me, I just feel happy. Such a crazy time for her, but a huge opportunity for me. I want to be respectful because they inspired me. They went through a lot, but they hugged me and gave me the opportunity to see what I can do on the biggest stage, ”said Bourne.
“At the end of the game, I kind of sat there to see how it felt and it felt like the beginning to me. What I think fits since Jake’s decision. But there are a lot of people in the US who need to step up, including me. And I’m ready to do it. “
Gibb has no doubt.
“You are looking into the future right here,” said Gibb as he acknowledged Bourne. “Tri now knows what to do in the Olympics. He led the tournament in side-out percentage. He now knows what to do. There’s a circle of guys like him who can step on it and take it and go with it.
“I think he’s going to take the lead, especially with Taylor and a number of guys who have to move up now and I’ll be there to support them.”
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