Moscow Four-Star

Moscow Four-Star: Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brooke Sweat to Play For Bronze


It’s a simple game. Doesn’t mean it’s an easy one, but beach volleyball is, as Kerri Walsh Jennings said on Saturday evening from Moscow, as simple as the ABCs.

“We did the ABCs,” she said after her and Brooke Sweat won their quarterfinal in the Moscow Four-Star over Brazil’s Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Silva. “We focused on the ABCs. Good things happen when you stick together.”

Evidently so. After going down in the first set, they slowly worked their way back, all the way to a 24-22 win. That preceded a 21-16 victory in the second to send them to the semifinals, against another Brazilian team in Taiana Lima and Talita Antunes.  

“It was a hard-fought match,” Sweat said. “We were down big in the first and came back and it was so much fun.”

“They’re ballers,” Walsh Jennings said of Cavalcanti and Patricia Silva, who are leading the Olympic race. “I love their fight, and we pissed them off, but they’ll come back strong.”

If nothing else, their countrywomen did. A round later, Walsh Jennings and Sweat fell to Lima and Antunes, 21-23, 21-23, sending them to the bronze medal match, where they’ll meet Germans Julia Sude and Karla Borger.

A bronze would make for Walsh Jennings’ and Sweat’s fifth medal in this Olympic race, and their first since winning gold in Jinjiang in May. Regardless of whether they win or not, the tournament is yet another boost in their Olympic standing, as they will be the top-finishing American team.

Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil lost in the quarterfinals to Anouk Verge-Depre – Walsh Jennings’ partner in p1440 San Jose – and Joana Heidrich 20-22, 16-21. The only other American team in the field, Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman, was knocked out in the first round.

So it’ll be onto the medal rounds for Walsh Jennings and Sweat. Nothing too complicated against the Germans.

Just simple, ABCs style.