Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross eliminated in first beach volleyball tournament together

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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross‘ partnership got off to a strong start in their debut event, but it came to a screeching halt Friday.

Walsh Jennings and Ross were eliminated before the quarterfinals at an FIVB tour stop in Gstaad, Switzerland, by Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Agatha Bednarczuk 21-17, 22-20.

It marked Walsh Jennings’ first tournament since 2012. She had her third child in April, daughter Scout, and appeared in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue this week.

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, went 3-0 in pool play before losing their first elimination-round match.

“I’m disappointed in how we did,” Ross said in an FIVB press release. “I thought we played better each match in pool play and then I feel we went back a step in this match. Kerri hurt her abs a little bit and I didn’t contribute at all; I wasn’t digging balls and couldn’t get my serve in the court.”

Also notable in the release was this line …

Towards the end of 2013 Ross and Walsh will go fulltime, though the pair are remaining tight-lipped on the subject and offered only a coy, “by the end of the year,” when pressed on the subject.

Walsh Jennings and Ross will not play together at the Long Beach Grand Slam from July 22-27. Walsh Jennings will play with Whitney Pavlik, and Ross will go with silver-medal teammate Jennifer Kessy.

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Mikaela Shiffrin wrestles with doubt in seconds before World Cup downhill debut

Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, skis during the third training run for the World Cup women's downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
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After a momentary panic in the start house, Mikaela Shiffrin raced to a tie for 18th in the first downhill of her World Cup career in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion who has also won a World Cup giant slalom, has been slowly adding the speed events of super-G and downhill to her repertoire the last two seasons.

“It wasn’t bad,” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com. “I certainly didn’t risk anything crazy.”

Her result Friday, 1.99 seconds behind Slovenian winner Ilka Stuhec, came after Shiffrin was 18th, 24th and 30th fastest in downhill training runs the previous three days. Shiffrin also had to wait several minutes in the start house as the racer before her crashed (video here).

“That was just a bummer,” Shiffrin said, according to the Denver Post. “I was like, ‘Just don’t let it affect you,’ but being up there for 10 minutes, like, ‘What happened? What’s taking them so long? What’s going on? Is she hurt?’

“Then I started doubting myself, like my technique going off the jumps, which is actually pretty good. I was going back and forth between, ‘Should I even be doing this? Maybe I just should pull out because I don’t want to kill myself.’ Then I’m like, ‘You’re absolutely fine, you haven’t felt sketched out a single time on this track in the past three days, so stick with that. You don’t have to go crazy.'”

“To be fast in speed there certainly needs to be a certain level of risk, and I know that, but now, if [giant slalom] and slalom are my main priority this season, I don’t need to be going crazy in a downhill with flat light and after I got iced [waiting so long],” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com.

Stuhec won Friday’s race by .22 of a second over Italian Sofia Goggia. Swede Kajsa Kling was third.

A race replay can be seen here. Full results are here.

Lindsey Vonn, owner of a record 18 wins at Lake Louise, is missing the annual World Cup stop in Alberta due to a broken arm from a November crash. Vonn had raced at Lake Louise each of the previous 15 seasons.

Last season, Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in the super-G at Lake Louise and finished 15th.

The women have another downhill Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, both streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app (schedule here).

MORE: Vonn eyes January return from her most painful injury

High-speed crash at World Cup downhill in Lake Louise (video)

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Swiss Joana Haehlen crashed into netting at high speed during a World Cup downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Haehlen, 24, lost her right ski after landing from a jump and sped uncontrollably off course. She braced for impact, slammed into red netting and was turned around before landing with neither of her skis still attached.

She lay on the snow while being attended to and eventually skied down the mountain on her own.

It caused a 10-minute delay before the next skier, American Mikaela Shiffrin, could take her run.

VIDEO: Vonn details the most painful injury of her career