Misty May-Treanorhad her first taste of Olympic defeat since 2000 on Wednesday, but she and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings rallied for a 17-21, 21-8, 15-10 triumph over Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger of Austria in women's beach volleyball Group C action.
May-Treanor, a former Newport Harbor High standout, and Walsh Jennings, the two-time defending Olympic champions, did not lose a set in Athens, or Beijing, and had been perfect in two previous matches in London heading into Wednesday.
The last time May-Treanor dropped a set in Olympic competition was in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, where she played with Holly McPeak and finished fifth.
The victory Wednesday allowed the Americans to win the group and move on to the Round of 16, also known as the knockout round, that begins Friday.
May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings took leads of 11-7 and 12-8 in the deciding set, and continued to pull away. The Americans scored their final two points on opponents' hitting errors.
May-Treanor had 19 kills, 24 digs and one ace serve against the Austrians. Walsh Jennings had 11 kills, seven digs, four blocks and three aces.
— From staff reports
MEN'S BEACH VOLLEYBALL
The men's beach volleyball tandem of Costa Mesa resident Jake Gibb and Corona del Mar resident Sean Rosenthal came up big Wednesday, trouncing a team from Latvia to emerge as the No. 1 representative from the four-team Group D.
Gibb and Rosenthal, who lost to a team from Poland on Monday, needed only 37 minutes to produce a 21-10, 21-16 thrashing of Aleksanders Samoilovs and Ruslan Sorokins that helped the Americans edge two other teams that finished 2-1 in the group, by virtue of a greater point differential.
Having won the pool, Gibb and Rosenthal put themselves in the best possible position, heading into Friday's round of 16, also known as the knockout round.
Rosenthal had 14 kills, nine digs and two aces against the Latvians, while Gibb produced 10 kills and one dig.
Samoilovs and Sorokins, who entered the match 2-0 in group play, wound up third in the group and were relegated to the "lucky loser's" bracket.
The Polish team of Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel wound up second in the group.
— From staff reports
Amber Neben, who earned a master's degree at UC Irvine, finished seventh in the women's time trail.
Neben finished the 18-mile course that ended in Hampton Court in 38 minutes, 45.17 seconds. She was nearly 48 seconds off the pace of the bronze medalist, Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia.