Three-Peat! Kerri Walsh Claims Third Straight Beach Volleyball Triumph in London
It looked easy. Way too easy.
In what may be her last Summer Games with her current partner (Misty May-Treanor), Kerri Walsh claimed her third straight Beach Volleyball victory in resounding fashion, smashing fellow Americans Jen Kessy and April Ross, 21-16, 21-16, to close out an utterly dominating campaign in London.
The long-time monster duo, combining stellar ball control, power and stature, demonstrated why they’ve been the class of the sport over such a long period of time.
“I’m really proud of finishing the journey with Misty the way we finished it,” Kerri said, with tears visibly forming.
The 11-year icons of the sport put an emphatic exclamation point on their careers together on the World’s biggest sports stage. Their performance resembled the vigorous, hungry team of old – comprised of two collegiate volleyball legends partnered together – with characteristics and skills that complemented each other in just about every way possible.
In short, it was as impressive as ever.
The Title Match dropped into action with both teams trading points, as expected. But Kerri quickly took the reigns in the first set with a shot to the far corner to take an 18-14 lead – followed by a monster “roof” (stuff block) to push the score to 19-14.
The game would close out fast with a Misty kill.
Set 2 was just as one-sided, with Kerri pushing the lead to 17-14 with a huge ace late in the game – followed by a quick ‘dump’ off a bump set to all but seal the deal at 18-14. Yet another massive stuff block would send the raucous, sold out crowd into a frenzy, as the American pair put the cap on yet another magical Summer Games.
The contest itself seemed ‘business as usual’ for the two stars – despite the tremendous milestone moment.
Kerri, who had her entire family on hand during the Games (husband/volleyball pro, Casey Jennings, and their two young children), picked up her two sons as she ran to the crowd in emotional celebration – as the American flag was wrapped around her neck.
“The past two years that we’ve shared together have changed my life,” Kerri continued, contemplating on a magical stretch with Misty that effectively put the sport on the map on the Global stage. “It really has. That sounds really dramatic and cheesy, but it has. We’ve come so far in these past two years, and we’re so close and so connected. Our competitive journey together is done. That’s a big deal. That crushes me a little. The next stage is going to be so fun. We’re going to be able to be girlfriends, sharing each other’s families and each other’s lives.”