Gstaad Major

Gstaad Major: Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brooke Sweat Back to Winning Ways After “Reset”


Photo credit: FIVB

It was just a reset. Nothing more. That’s all Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings needed after a disappointing finish in Hamburg, Germany for World Championships. They played four matches and won just one, against Mauritius. They still picked up points, mind you. Lots and lots of points. But they were after more than that at World Champs, and the 17th was out of character compared to the silver, fifth, gold and fourth that preceded it.

“Kerri and I just kind of had to reset after Hamburg,” Sweat said. “I don’t know what happened or why it happened the way it did there but we had a lot of good come from it after the tournament before starting this one. Lots of good conversations. Just reconnecting. We’re feeling really good hear. It’s so beautiful here, but it’s even better when you’re winning.”

And they are winning. Handily. Two matches they’ve played in Gstaad, and two matches they’ve won, over China and Latvia, to claim the top spot in their pool as well as a first-round bye in tomorrow’s elimination rounds.

“Beach volleyball is fun,” Sweat said. “That’s what we want to do. That’s why we’re here. It’s nice to have that turnaround and get back to our winning ways.”

All of the American women’s teams in the main draw are enjoying the winning ways at the moment. April Ross and Alix Klineman and Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman both broke pool, though they will not get the pleasure of a first-round bye, having lost one pool play match each.

Ross and Klineman will have Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova, while Larsen and Stockman will match up with Svetlana Kholomina and Nadezda Makroguzova, also of Russia.

“I always think that playing matches is where you get better,” Sweat said. “You learn in those moments so I want to keep playing. I want to play in Gstaad to the very end. Then we have another tournament and another tournament and another tournament so I’m hoping we just keep getting better and better.”