May-Treanor and Walsh return gathers pace with quarterfinal win over defending champions Kessy and Ross
Misty May-Treanor (left) and Kerri Walsh's fairytale return to beach volleyball shows no signs of slowing down when they knocked out reigning champions Jennifer Kessy and April Ross.
Rome, Italy, June 17 – The return to form of three-time world champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh continued apace when they defeated 2009 champions Jennifer Kessy and April Ross to reach the semifinals of the FIVB Swatch World Championships Rome 2011 powered by smart.
The United States duo grabbed the first set before Kessy and Ross fought back to claim the second. In the final set May-Treanor and Walsh were in control from start to finish and closed out the match with a 21-18, 18-21, 15-10 victory.
“(It’s) always a battle with Jen and April, no matter when or where,” May-Treanor said. “We’ve gone through with them several times and we went through with them last week in Beijing.
“They are a very tough serving team and have very good ball control and it comes down to the errors. Kerri and I were able to capitalise on some key points there.”
May-Treanor and Walsh’s win was a repeat of the semifinal at the FIVB Swatch World Tour Beijing Open en route to the gold medal.
The win in the Chinese capital was the pair’s first tournament victory since returning to action after a two-year hiatus from the sport following gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
“Kerri and I have worked hard since we’ve got back together in March and in each tournament we keep getting better and better,” May-Treanor said.
“That’s what we want. We want to be world champions and each time we step on the court everyone has got it in for us because we’re the veterans on tour.”
In the intervening two years since the second of their two Olympic gold medals much has changed for the pair.
May-Treanor has suffered Achilles and knee injuries and has to play wearing an imposing-looking knee brace. Walsh meanwhile gave birth two to sons, who are regularly courtside during her matches.
“Taking time off, from these women and this tour has been very hard,” May-Treanor said. “Teams are getting more physical, teams are younger and each county has their own style, so it is getting used to that timing again.
“We have the chemistry, it is just a case of peeling off the layers to get back to where we were and that’s what we’re doing each time we step on the court.”
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