American Beach Volleyball teammates Misty May Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings kept alive their streak of never losing a set in Oluympic play by defeating the Czech pair of Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova 21–14, 21–19 Monday evening.
The Americans won the first set easily but found themselves in a tough situation in the second. Down 18–15, it looked like the winning streak would be broken. Instead, the U.S. team bounced back with a combination of good defense and a couple of key misses by the Czech squad.
Tied at 19, Slukova returned the May-Treanor serve into the net. May-Treanor served for match point and lanky teammate Walsh Jennings stuffed the Czech return before it could cross the net, preserving the streak.
After the match Misty May-Treanor told NBC Sports, “We work very hard and want to keep improving throughout this tournament.
“They battled us and came out strong in the second set. We might have been a little bit more relaxed but we came back and were able to win set two.
“I said it wasn’t going to be easy in our pool and it definitely isn’t, but we stayed together and that’s been the M.O., us staying together and working as a unit.
“It was fun tonight—we wanted this victory and we want another one in another couple days.”
Walsh Jennings commented on the focus the pair needed to pull out of the deficit and win the set and match.
“I wish we had had that level of focus a little bit earlier,” she told NBC Sports. “We had a couple unforced errors—I certainly had I think two or three at least in game two and that would have been the difference—we wouldn’t have given everyone at home a heart attack.
“I want to clean up my game, for sure, but Misty May dug deep. She made some unbelievable run-downs and digs and put them away at the end of the game two and that’s what she does best.
“We want to stay disciplined and we never want to give up those girls were awesome but a win’s a win. I love it.”
May Treanor, who turned 35 on the day of the match, has said that this will be her last Olympics. She and Walsh Jennings won gold at Athens and Beijing, as well as three World championships. Obviously the pair would like to go out as undefeated champions.
The Americans play one more preliminary match before group play is finished and eliminations begin.