Brazil hands Kerri Walsh Jennings first ever Olympic beach volleyball loss
Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross will play for bronze on Wednesday night
Kerri Walsh Jennings was 26-0 in her Olympic beach volleyball career entering Tuesday night in Rio, but the American star and partner April Ross were handed their first loss by the Brazilian team of Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas in the semifinal.
Brazil won 2-0 in sets, but the sets were tight at 22-20 and 21-18. Agatha and Barbara used stunning defense and a wide variety of offensive attacks -- hard spikes, cut shots and soft lobs over the block -- to take out the Americans in front of a raucous crowd on Copacabana Beach.
Where the Brazilians were sharp, the American duo was uncharacteristically shaky, making too many unforced errors and not capitalizing on quality offensive chances like they usually do.
Most notably, the Americans struggled with both serving and receiving serves. The difference in the match was five points, and the Americans were down six points just off of service aces (5-1 in favor of Brazil) and service faults (4-2 by the U.S.).
The Brazilian pair will move on to face the German team of Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst in the beach volleyball gold medal match on Wednesday night, with Walsh Jennings and Ross looking to salvage bronze against the other Brazilian team of Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes.
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