RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings pulled into the lead of their pool with their second victory of the 2016 Olympics, a 21-16, 21-9 win against China’s Fan Wang/Yuan Yue.
Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson are 1-1 at the 2016 Olympics following a 21-18, 21-18 loss to Austria on Monday. The pair fought a hard match against Austria’s Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl but were unable to close the gap at the end of both sets to generate a lead.
ROSS/WALSH JENNINGS DEF CHINA | 21-16, 21-9
April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings won their 147th team victory at 12:34 a.m. on Aug. 9, their second-consecutive midnight match of the 2016 Olympics. The pair topped Wang/Yue of China 21-16, 21-9.
“Tonight was a great night,” said Walsh Jennings. “It’s such a fun atmosphere. I really enjoy being here. When I wake up at 9, I’m kind of like, ‘oh my god, it’s ninety more hours to go,’ but every hour serves a purpose. The roller coaster, It’s such a relief when we get out there.”
After being tied in the early goings, Ross and Walsh Jennings pulled ahead in the first frame, 15-11 at the break and shortly later at 21-16. In the set, China had eight errors to USA’s one.
In the second set, despite being tied 5-all, the U.S. went on a 16-4 run to earn the set and match.
“Ever since we’ve been here, we’ve been staying up late, getting up late,” Ross explained of their preparation. “It’s not that far off of California time, so before I came here I just had in my head that I’m not going to try and adjust to the time change at all.”
Ross and Walsh Jennings play Switzerland’s Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre on Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. ET for their final pool play match. Against the Swiss, they are 3-0 and last played them in June at the Hamburg Major quarterfinals, winning 21-17, 21-14.
GIBB/PATTERSON LOSS AUSTRIA | 21-18, 21-18
Gibb and Patterson are locked with the other three teams in their pool with a 1-1 record. After beating Qatar on Saturday, the sixth-seeded duo took on Austria Monday afternoon. In the first set, the play remained locked with neither team pulling too far ahead, 11-10. Toward the end of the frame was when the Austrians were able to gain breathing room, taking the frame 21-18.
“It was our side of the net,” said Gibb. “It was 100-percent our side of the net. We didn’t take care of our serving and our blocking. That’s what we control and we didn’t take care of it.”
Gibb and Patterson opened the second set ahead 9-7 but after consecutive blocks, a fifth for Austria, the USA fell behind before Patterson stopped the streak with a major kill at 16-14.
It wouldn’t be enough to hold the Austrians off though, as they went on to win the second set also with a score of 21-18. All four teams in the pool are gridlocked at 1-1, the decider will come on Wednesday when each of the four teams plays its last pool play match.
“We can still win our pool,” said Gibb. “We’re still alive. We understand that.”
On Aug. 9, Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (1-0) will play Mexico at 10 a.m. ET and Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat (0-1) face No. 1 Brazil Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes at 3:30 p.m. ET.
ABOUT POOL PLAY
After pool play, the top two teams in the pool will advance to the Round of 16. Of the third-place finishers in each pool, the top two of those six will advance, based on match points, then by set ratio. The four remaining third-ranked teams in each pool will play a two-match lucky loser round (3rd ranked vs 6th ranked; 4th vs 5th), with the winners advancing to the round of 16. The fourth ranked team in each pool will be eliminated. <
DAY IN REVIEW
2016 Olympic Games | Aug. 8
– Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson lost to Austria in two sets, the fifth time the #18 seed beat the #6 seed in the Olympics for men during pool play. They are 46-42 against the Olympic field and 8-4 against Pool F.
– April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings beat China in their second-consecutive midnight match at the Olympics and their 147th as a team. They are 55-14 against the Olympic field, at 9-1 against Pool C.
Aug. 9, 10 a.m. ET Dalhausser/Lucena vs Mexico
Aug. 9, 3:30 p.m. ET Fendrick/Sweat vs Brazil
Aug. 10, 10 a.m. ET Gibb/Patterson vs Spain
Aug. 10, 8 p.m. ET Ross/Walsh Jennings vs Switzerland
Aug. 11, 2:30 p.m. ET Fendrick/Sweat vs Russia
Aug. 11, 3:30 p.m. ET Dalhausser/Lucena vs Italy
Aug. 6, Gibb/Patterson def QAT 21-16, 21-16
Aug. 6, Ross/Walsh Jennings def AUS 21-14, 21-13
Aug. 7, Fendrick/Sweat loss POL 14-21, 21-13, 15-7
Aug. 7, Dalhausser/Lucena def TUN 21-7, 21-13
Aug. 8, Gibb/Patterson loss AUT 21-18, 21-18
Aug. 8, Ross/Walsh Jennings def China 21-16, 21-9