Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brooke Sweat, Sweep Pool in Jinjiang Four-Star
Photo credit: FIVB
If the theme of Kerri Walsh Jennings’ and Brooke Sweat’s overseas trek through Brazil and China and the Czech Republic is “onward,” as Walsh Jennings posted on p1440’s Instagram story the other day, then onward the journey continued on Thursday evening.
After qualifying in straight sets, Walsh Jennings swept Switzerland in the first round of pool play, 21-10, 21-18, which preceded another straight-set win over Australia’s No. 1 team in Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho, 21-18, 21-18.
The consecutive wins makes it their 17th win in their past 20 matches, 18 of 21 if you include a country quota win over Kelly Reeves and Brittany Howard that put them into the Jinjiang qualifier in the first place.
“They are truly incredible young athletes and a team to watch as Tokyo comes up,” Walsh Jennings said of the Australians, “but Brookie and I played well. We felt great. Feels really good out here. Team U.S.A. is having a good tournament here so far so onward we go.”
Indeed, the U.S. is playing well, per usual, on the women’s end. Walsh Jennings and Sweat went 2-0, as did Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, who beat Poland and Thailand in straight sets. Emily Day and Betsi Flint split, beating Ukraine in the first round of pool before dropping to Brazilians Agatha and Duda.
On the men’s side, every team broke pool, though none will receive a first-round bye, as all went 1-1. Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena beat Norway but lost to Russia; John Hyden and Ryan Doherty beat China but lost to Canada; Chase Budinger and Casey Patterson beat Russia but lost to Spain; Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb beat Australia but lost to Brazil.
But every American team will move onto the elimination rounds. Every American team will, as the theme of the weekend goes, move onward.
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