American Olympic medallists win midnight match

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 - In the final match on the opening day schedule, American Olympic medallists April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States defeated Mariafe Artacho and Nicole Laird of Australia 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) in a 35-minute Pool C contest.

It was the second international meeting between the two teams as Ross and Walsh Jennings eked out a three-set win over the Australians in pool play last June at the FIVB World Championships in The Netherlands.  While the American earned a spot in Rio by being the third-ranked team on the FIVB World Tour qualifying list for the Olympics, Artacho and Laird secured their Copacabana berth by winning the Asian confederation Continental Cup competition.

Ross and Walsh Jennings, who return to Rio after winning a FIVB Grand Slam on Copacabana this past March, only trailed twice in the match with the Australians at 0-1 and 1-2 in the first set.

The Americans and Aussies return to action Monday with Fan Wang and Yuan Yue of China playing Ross and Walsh Jennings.  The Chinese eliminated the Americans from the 2015 FIVB World Championships in The Netherlands.  Artacho and Laird challenge Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland, who dropped a three-setter to the Chinese.  


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