USA Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh Olympic Beach Volleyball, Gold Over #1 Chinese

UPDATED: 21 August 2008

The US has not lost a match, or a set, in 107 straight matches.  No one can even fathom that number.  It is like trying to understand the Universe.  Billions of Stars, Hundreds of Billions of planets in our own Galaxy, hundreds of millions of life years away.  And we drive 70 miles an hour on the freeway and get speeding tickets.  Now add to that that these ladies are 460-18 since 2004.  We are talking astronomical numbers.

These women have accomplished something nearly as difficult to realize.  All the best teams in the world, from every country, out of 6 billion people, every combination of 2 women that are above average to excellent in beach volleyball in the world have tried to beat these beautiful ladies.   And you know what?  They can’t.

Misty says, “I am good, Kerri is good, but together we are GOLDEN!!”  Misty understands the primary definition of the word “team”.  It has a selfishness and pride in each other that is required to win.  It is like a successful marriage where the partners understand that they are a team and it is them against the world.  When you cannot take pride in your partner’s victories, when you start thinking of yourself above the team, you lose!

This article will be long.  The reason?  This match deserves strong coverage.  It deserves nearly a point-by-point call of each event.  We will also provide a video, but please, read the emotion this game sparked.  Our hearts were in our throats through every point.  Our effort went into every word.  And these spectacular champions are as much in every emotion we express in our words as can possibly be reflected from watching this game.

The first set, in the monsoon rains, was difficult.  Blocking was the most difficult aspect, because blocking a slippery ball is much harder than blocking a dry ball.  The wet ball does not stick to the arms, it slides through.  And that made Kerri’s job that much more difficult.  Misty will block on occasion, but blocking is Kerri’s specialty, so this had to be Misty’s match.

Misty’s mother died recently and she has spread her mother’s ashes throughout the world into the sands of her games.  She has also added a tattoo to her shoulder in honor of her mother.  Misty has undying love and commitment.  The reason she cannot be beaten is because there is no one and nothing that can beat her.  Sounds like the same thing, but it isn’t.  Think about it.

Kerri/Walsh were scary in the first set.

In the second set, they took an early lead 3-0.  But this Chinese team was tough. There was never any doubt that anything less than a 20-0 lead was over with Tian/Wang.

Sure enough, bit by bit, the Chinese tenacious play had come back to even.  How could it be?  Could Kerri and Misty be wearing down.  Certainly, it could happen.  These Chinese are butch and strong.  And they are mutants.  The tallest player is only ½ inch shorter than Kerri.  So this isn’t a matter of height.  It is a matter of talent.

It seemed like May-Treanor-Walsh had a chance to win easily by spreading the lead to 6-3.  But we already told you, these Chinese Girls have beaten the US team before.  And they have the sense of searching for blood.  They also have some tricks, but we will point that out later.

One thing you constantly notice about Kerri and Misty is how much they appreciate each other in the matches.  They can get completely outmatched and embarrassed on a point, and still, they stand up, brush themselves off, and greet each other, even on the lost point for their incredible effort.  They recognize that every point is difficult, and as a team, they earn everything, even the misses.

It is hard to understand congratulating someone for a point lost.  But it is all in the knowledge that both you and your partner did your very best to not let it be a point for the other side.  Neither of you let the other down.  It was just a point.  It happens.  That makes a team, and in this case the best Olympic Beach Volleyball team in history.

The Asians needed a timeout.   So Tian tends to fake injury.  At this juncture, down 2, the Chinese needed to slow the momentum.   This has been played before.  It is cheap, and has never been played by the greats, but it does get played by the losers.  It sometimes works to deflect the true winners momentum, but in reality, it is a cheap tactic.  The Chinese had used a similar tactic in …

In the last set, May-Treanor leads 18-17.  Tian has this forward spin to take serves. Misty bounces it up.  Kerri spike, but the Chinese do not go down easy.  And in the next volley, Misty cannot get the spike off and Tian gets off a mean block feeding it back in Misty’s face.

At Set Point 20-18, Misty Served.  The Chinese team makes a weak return and Misty returns it for an easy placement shot in the middle of the sand.

Kerri was the most valuable player in 2004.  This year it was Misty.  An that shows something that all teams should take notice of.  That is what a team is.  Both are great.  108 matches without a defeat!!

Gold America.

FIRST POST, 21 August 2008, 2:00am

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh beat the #1 ranked Chinese team for Gold!!!  Not just Gold, their second consecutive Olympic Gold!!! The first women’s team to ever get back-to-back Golds in the Olympics.

These ladies had to play in a torrential downpour against a very strong Chinese team and won their 108th match in a row.  Think about that number.  Olympic Gold is difficult, downright near impossible, but winning 108 matches in a row in World and Olympic competition?  That is insane!!!!!!

We will be back with a video and a complete play by play.  We will not let you, our readers down, on this.  Please come back.  You WILL get the absolute best coverage of this historical and super human event!!!

Misty, we love you!!  Kerri, we adore you!!  Just being on the same sand is an honor to any team.
GO USA!!!  GO USA!!!  GO USA!!!


Second Set: First part

For the WIN!! Second Set, Last Part

American Heart Shows in US Beach Volleyball Pursuit of Gold, Gibb/Rosenthal

The Americans once again show heart in the Olympics when it comes down to a hard fought battle.

Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal fought a brutal battle with Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Raul Mesa, marginally winning the first set at 26-24. Herrera and Mesa were merciless in their fast play and did not give in to the Americans easily.

And so it was in the second set. Herrera and Mesa continued to taunt Gibb and Rosenthal in the second set, matching them point for point and eventually taking the lead 11-10. The Spaniards were honorable and strong opponents.

After an incidental contact between Rogers and Herrera, Rogers was quick to help Herrera up, Herrera reached and took Rogers hand, showing the sportsmanship between the two teams.

Gibb-Rosenthal ate the Spanish alive on the next three points leading to a time out. The Spanish had gotten sloppy and needed to regroup.

On the first point after the point, the Spanish had an easy spike and Rosenthal dug it out of the sand on a miraculous play, but the Spaniard’s Mesa ate the Americans alive with his next spike. It was still 16-14 US, but the Spaniards demonstrated they are great players and should not be taken for granted.

So, the Spaniards on the next point spike again. Mesa spiked to Rosenthal who made a miraculous save and got it in the air to Gibb who scurried to keep the ball alive and Rosenthal returned it over the net.

Sean Rosenthal
The next play has to be seen. The USA team showed heart and excellence as they scored the next point. A spike by the Spaniards was weak and Rosenthal was able to get it in the air. But Gibb had everything he could do to chase it down out of bounds to get in the air for Rosenthal. Gibb was masterful, placing just in front of the net for a graceful touch by Rosenthal. All the Spaniards could do was touch it and pass it under the net as the USA team danced in glory.

The US team appeared to get complacent and allowed the Spaniards to come back to 17-16. But Gibb ate up Mesa on a spike taking it to 18-16. The next play was complacent again on the American’s as they blew a point hitting an easy spike out of bounds.

Then came the play of the game. The Spaniards served. Gibb popped it in the air and Rosenthal set it up for a Gibb spike. Gibb went up but the Spaniards were ready and blocked his return. In a miraculous play, Rosenthal scooped the block from the sand by inches stretching beyond everything that seems human. Gibb popped it up trusting his teammate even as he lay in the sand from the last play. Rosenthal rose to the occasion. He stood up and spiked it past the Spaniards leaving them to wonder how they lost the point.

This broke the Spaniards back. They realized nothing they could do would win. Gibb-Rosenthal were suddenly a wall. The Spanish hit it out of bounds at match point and Gibb Rosenthal too the set 21-17 and the match.

Spain had to endure two painful defeats today at the hands of the US, in basketball and in volleyball. But they have a ton of company as the US leads in medals in the Olympics.

Pathetic Coverage of US Dalhausser/Rogers over Swiss Laciga/Schnider in Beach Volleyball by NBC in Olympics

In an incredible match between Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, and Switzerland’s Martin Laciga and Jan Schnider, the Americans had, after splitting the first two sets, come back from a 6 love deficit.  The battle was incredible, with each team exchanging leads.  This was one of the most exciting matches of the Olympics!!! Suddenly, in the middle of a tied match, NBC cut to the pool.

Michael Phelps was to make his swim for history and his 7th Gold Medal.  And we do not question the fact that Michael was more important at this juncture, so going to that live was a no-brainer.

But after Michael won, NBC showed that they are a no-brainer.  They turned to meaningless track qualifications that could have been shown anytime, and left the fans of one of the best US Beach Volleyball Teams in history dangling.

As it turns out, Dalhausser and Rogers overcame a 6-0 deficit in the final set to beat Switzerland 21-16, 21-23, 15-13 advancing to the quarterfinals.

But the coverage had to come from elsewhere, as NBC demonstrated their inability to understand the importance of one of the closest matches in this tournament.

US Women’s Beach Volleyball Gold Champs May-Treanor/Walsh Waffled by Belgians? Gibb/Rosenthal Play: A Horror Show

Going into this match, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh had won 104 straight matches.  Staggering.  But that was about to be challenged.

May-Treanor/Walsh were to play Belgians Mouha and Van Breedam.  The Belgians are big girls.  Mouha weighs in at 195 pounds and is 6’4″ tall, and may qualify for an NFL Linebacker position after the Olympics.

This wasn’t to be the May-Treanor/Walsh Waltz this time.  These big gals from Belgium showed the skinny Americans that bringing a little beef to the party can be welcome when it comes time to cook.

Mouha/Van Breedam kept the match close and then opened up a 3 point lead at 15-12.  Then, the unthinkable, 16-12 on a block by Mouha.  The US gals have not had to face a blocker as big as Mouha.  Shoot, there are no blockers as big as Mouha!!

The play started getting more intense as the teams traded points and the Belgians worked to a 19-17 lead. May-Treanor/Walsh were clearly in trouble, and Van Breedam made an impossible save and then placed a mean cut shot from right to left across the net and left the Americans bewildered.  20-17 Triple-Set Point Belgium.  Could this be the end of the US Run?

The Belgians had a chance to finish it and Misty pulled the serve out of the sand, but the Americans couldn’t put it away.  Mouha got off a weak spike and the Misty was able to volley it and put it in the sand taking away one set point.  18-20 Double Set Point Belgium.  And Mouha!

Mouha again delivered a weak spike and Misty set it up for Kerri.  But Kerri passed it back to Misty and she took the kill.  19-20.  Set Point Belgium.

There had to be Misty in the Belgians eyes, because the US played a beautiful serve and volley and Misty put it away once again to tie the score.  Belgium had missed 3 chances to take the set.

The Belgians put on a fantastic volley to take the lead 21-20 as Misty went at least 10 feet out of bounds to retrieve one volley, showing that the US Gals still had major heart.  That heart paid off once again.  It was set point Belgium, but they could not deliver and Walsh spiked it past them to bring the score to 21-21.

But it was Mouha’s turn for a kill and it was 22-21.  Set Point Belgium AGAIN and Mouha looked to be striking some fear into the Americans.  Misty wasn’t going to give Mouha the chance, taking a soft touch shot for the line and placing it perfectly to bring the set to 22-22.

A brutal Belgian spike scooped up inches above the sand by Misty sent the ball into the air and all Walsh could do was get it over the net.  The Belgians set up again, and it was looking to be another Belgian Set Point.  But NO, Kerri blocked the shot and the US took the lead for their own set point!!!  Unbeleivable.  Mouha was on her knees and it was like she was looking for the ball in the sand.

The Belgians choked on the next point and the match went to the US team.  This broke the big women’s backs.  24-22, Set 1, US!

We don’t want to play down how well the US played the second set, but they started off with a 5-1 run and never looked back.  Misty and Kerrie went up 20-10 and and finished it with a touch shot by Walsh leaving Mouha face first in the sand.  US 21-10!  The bigger they come, the harder they fall!! Straight Sets again.  That makes it 105 straight Matches without a single loss!!

Gibb/Rosenthal USA Beach Volleyball A Horror Show

The Japanese were working hard, and Gibb and Rosenthal didn’t even look warmed up at 19-12.  The US won a rather uninspiring first set US 21-15.

Japan didn’t let up and kept it close in the second set, but the US still seemed in control.  Then, the Japanese team started a run and were able to pull out the second set 21-19.

The teams played to a 13-13 tie, and now, it was scary.  The first to score two consecutive points would win.  14-13, match point Japan.  14-14.  15-14 match point Japan.  15-15.  Oh my.  Then, it looked like it would be 16-15 Japan, but Gibb pulled off a miraculous block and it was 17-16 match point US.

Was it to be????

16-16.    Back where we started.

Japan blunders!!  A serve out of bounds!!  17-16 US!!  Gibb blocks a weak spike by the Japanese and Gibb takes them out for good.  18-16.

Don’t scare us like that guys!!

Photo credits: Thomas Coex /Joe Clamar / Getty Images / NBC

US Men’s Beach Volleyball, a Power-Hausser as Dalhausser/Rogers Trash Argentina

Dalhausser/Rogers played Baracetti/Conde of Argentina.  The Argentinian team defeated the Latvian team that beat Dalhausser/Rogers in their opening match.

Dalhausser/Rogers opened the lead early, and continued to open it up.  Argentina was forced to call a time out after the US Team went up 15-9 following an uncontested spike by Rogers as the Argentinians just stood and watched.  The Argentinians were beginning to look more like spectators than participants, just watching the ball go past.

The timeout didn’t change anything.  Rogers, despite being the shorter American, was delivering winner after winner.  Another score delivered by Rogers and it was 19-11.  No one can come back against Dalhausser/Rogers in that situation.

Set over on a Dalhausser spike.  21-12.

The US team did not look as sharp in the second set, giving Argentinia numerous chances.  But the Argentinians never led in the set, despite blunders such as serves straight into the net by Dalhausser.

Dalhausser helped the US pull away with an Ace while all the Argentinians could do was stare, 14-10 .  Dalhausser at 16-10 made a super human move.   He went up to block but the ball went past, he fell backwards and placed the ball up for Rogers, who set up the spike.  Dalhausser actually got up in the air fast enough to deliver the winning spike.

It was déjà vu in the second set at 19-11.  And bye bye Argentina, 21-13.


Photo Credit: Thoma Coex / Getty Images

USA Womens Beach Volleyball Team says NOrWAY!!

May-Treanor/Walsh did it again, embarrassing the Norwegian team.  The ladies once again won in straight sets 21-12, 21-15, finishing off the final set with an ACE!!

This one wasn’t worth covering, except to say the US Team is undefeated after 104 straight matches!!!!  Is that even possible?

American Women’s Beach Volleyball Make 203!!  Impossible?  Believe It!

It is truly pleasurable to watch those among the best in their sport.  It is a different experience altogether watching the best in their sport.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, ranked 2 in this Olympics, played against Dalixia Fernandes and Tamara Larrea of Cuba.  Dalixia and Tamara are among the best in this sport.  Misty May and Kerri are the best.  They entered this match with 202 sets in a row under their bikinis without a single loss!!

The Cubans were beaten in straight sets 21-15, 21-16 in 36 minutes.  Easy.  The Americans made it 203 sets in a ROW without a single defeat!

Photo Credit: Natacha Pisarenko / Associated Press

USA Olympic Men’s Beach Volleyball Team Knifes the Swiss, Just Watch! Aces Over Kings!

The American team, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, ranked number 2 and the defending world champions were to face a difficult number 11 Swiss team of Patrick Heuscher and Sascha Heyer. The US had blown their first match in straight sets 19-21 and 18-21 to 23rd ranked Latvian team.  There were plenty of excuses as to why Dalhausser did not play up to his level, but let’s not take anything away from the opposing team that left Dalhausser and Rogers flat footed.

No excuses, only victory.  It really doesn’t matter how you play the game, it only matters if you win.  No one will remember the excuses after the games.  They will only remember those that take the medals.

So, let’s see if the US Team can redeem itself.

The USA team and Swiss played to a tie at 5-5 but then the USA team started to show their strength and spread the lead to 9-6.  Rogers served and the Swiss attempted a spike, only to get delivered the ball back in their face by a rejuvenated Dalhausser.  10-6 USA.  This is referred to as a roof, when the block is so high and strong, the ball goes straight down giving the opposing team no chance of any recovery.

The US continued to expand their lead at 14-8.  Rogers served again.   But this time, the Swiss spiked one through, right past Dalhausser, and the Swiss followed with another score on a nasty drop bringing the score to 14-10.  Dalhausser would not let that go unanswered, and he spiked the next ball home, and there was no doubt even before he touched the ball, that was not getting returned.  15-10.

Rogers finished the game with a spike to take out the Swiss easily in the first set 21-15.  This was not the same team that lost to the Latvians.

In set 2, the Swiss broke out to a 3-1 lead, proving you don’t have to be a beach boy to win on sand.  But the US tied it at 3-3 with a Dalhausser service ACE.  The Swiss pulled ahead again, but the US tied it at 5-5 on a Rogers service ACE!  Then it was all US.  Dalhausser spread the lead out 16-9.  The Swiss did their best on the next point trying to take out the US team, but Dalhausser continually blocked them, finishing off with a kill move down the line that clearly demonstrated, the Swiss team was not in this anymore.  17-9.  It wasn’t close at the end.  The US embarrassed the Swiss team in the second set 21-10.

Match USA!  Most still expect this team to win the Gold.  We will keep you posted!

Olympic Medal for Gibb/Rosenthal For Men’s Beach Volleyball??

The Germans were expected to offer a strong challenge to the US in this game.  Brink/Deickmann from Germany faced Gibb/Rosenthal from the US.

The US disposed of the German team in straight sets and in short order, barely giving NBC time to squeeze in a few commercials  Final score 21-15, 21-13 in straight sets.

With Gibb and Rosenthal playing like this, an Olympic medal is in their destiny.

Beach Volleyball in the Olympics: Treanor/Walsh and Gibb/Rosenthal Win!!

What man doesn’t love women in bikinis!! But here is a chance for everyone in the world to love them. The beach volleyball competition in the Olympics. Japan had to compete against the taller Americans. The Japanese are the specialists in finesse and the Americans the champions in smashes and kills.

It was a close match, because Japan had such incredible athleticism. They played wonderfully, but they had a major disadvantage in any net game. Height matters if you are above the net, and the US ladies were above the net.

We tend not to like sports that offer a height advantage. We like sports with rules that make it equal among athletes regardless of their height. Let’s see how well shorter athletes perform in events where the net is 5 feet tall, but we don’t make Olympic rules. The Japanese are the shortest in this competition at 5’8″ and 5’9″.

Misty May Treanor/Kerri Walsh did beat Kusuhara/Saiki; it was not easy. These ladies could be on their way to gold having won 102 matches in a row AND DEFENDING THEIR GOLD MEDAL!

Gibb/Rosenthal Win Volleyball In Torrential Downpour

It was raining cats and dogs, but that didn’t slow down the Americans as they took the Netherlands team in consecutive sets 21/16 and 21/15.  The Dutch looked like they were just glad to get it over with.

The crowd had thinned considerably, leaving most of the seats in the stadium empty for the game, with only diehard fans staying through the entire match.

The Dutch looked completely helpless against Gibb and Rosenthal as they couldn’t seem to keep the ball within the lines on kills and could not defend kill shots by the Americans.