The best beach volleyball teams in the U.S. also showed why they’re the best on the planet, recording an American sweep of the World Series of Beach Volleyball titles in Long Beach, Calif., on Sunday.
Kerri Walsh Jennings won her 50th career FIVB title, with April Ross, while Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won for the third time in the last four FIVB Grand Slam events. Walsh Jennings and Ross and Dalhausser and Rosenthal delivered as the top seeds for the tournament, the biggest one in the U.S. this year.
Walsh Jennings, the three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, the Olympic silver medalist, beat Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas 21-17, 21-17.
“For Kerri it was working great; I had a little trouble out there playing D, which is why we were switch blocking, and Kerri got some key digs,” Ross said on NBC. “That team is so good. I’m sure we’re going to see them a bunch in later rounds in many tournaments to come. I’m just so proud of how we played together. That was the epitome of teamwork.”
Walsh Jennings and Ross, the tournament’s top seeds, have won six of their 11 FIVB tournaments together since teaming up last year, following Misty May-Treanor‘s retirement and Walsh Jennings’ third pregnancy.
They have won three of the seven FIVB World Tour Grand Slams this season and are the only pair to have won more than one.
“Even when the bad tournaments happen, it takes us one step closer to our ultimate goal, which is gold in Rio [de Janeiro in 2016],” Walsh Jennings said. “Today, our heads are high. We’re super stoked.”
The 2008 Olympic champion Dalhausser and two-time Olympian Rosenthal knocked off Poland’s Grzegorz Fijałek and Mariusz Prudel 22–24, 21–17, 15–9.
The FIVB World Tour continues with a Grand Slam in Klagenfurt, Austria, this week.