Walsh Jennings, Sweat qualify

Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brooke Sweat Qualify for Jinjiang Four-Star

Kerri Walsh Jennings-Brooke Sweat-p1440

Photo credit: FIVB

Another qualifier, another main draw for Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat, who continue to roll their way through this 2019 season. After winning a country quota match over Brittany Howard and Kelly Reeves two weeks ago in Hermosa Beach, prior to leaving for a four-star FIVB in Itapema, Brazil — where they’d also need to win a country quota, and a qualifier, before taking fifth — Walsh Jennings and Sweat swept Japan’s Reika Murakami and Kaho Sakaguchi, 21-13, 21-15, to make yet another main draw.

“Onward,” Walsh Jennings said. “Here we go.”

Onward has been the only direction the two have gone in a new partnership that continues to blossom at an impressive rate. In a partnership that began with a 17th at p1440 Las Vegas in October, the results have only gone upward, onward. Three medals have followed — two bronze and a silver — and they have yet to finish outside of the top 10 since.

In Jinjiang, they find themselves in a pool with Walsh Jennings’ former partner for p1440 San Jose, Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich, whom they’ll play first. After that, depending on the results, they’ll either see Australia’s Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy or Japan’s Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori.

Also making it through Tuesday’s qualifier were Americans Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson, who beat China’s Cong Yang and Eraili Nu, 21-15, 21-4. The’ll join fellow Americans Ryan Doherty and John Hyden, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, and Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb.

On the women’s side Emily Day and Betsi Flint, Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, and Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil are also competing.