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!!