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Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross eliminated by Olympic champs at World Tour Finals

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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross were eliminated by German Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst from the last major event of the season in the World Tour Finals quarterfinals on Friday in Toronto.

Ludwig and Walkenhorst prevailed 21-18, 19-21, 15-11 to advance to play Brazil’s Larissa and Talita in the semifinals Saturday. Full brackets and results are here.

At the Rio Olympics, Walsh Jennings and Ross were denied a final matchup with Ludwig and Walkenhorst when they lost to Brazilians Agatha and Barbara in the semifinals. Walsh Jennings and Ross rebounded to beat Larissa and Talita for bronze in Rio.

Ludwig and Walkenhorst have made the final four of seven straight international tournaments.

Walsh Jennings and Ross have won five international tournaments this season after winning none in 2015, last season shortened by Walsh Jennings’ fifth right shoulder surgery.

Walsh Jennings, 38, has not ruled out a run for a sixth Olympics in 2020.

Ross, 34, has said she planned to take a post-Olympic break to start a family but return for 2020.

On the men’s side, top U.S. pair Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena play for a place in the World Tour Finals quarterfinals on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. Olympic champions Alison and Bruno of Brazil have already clinched a quarterfinal berth.

The NBC Sports app will have streaming coverage of the World Tour Finals on Saturday from 2:45-4:15 p.m. ET and further coverage of the men’s and women’s finals Sunday from 12:15-5 p.m. ET.

MORE: Walsh Jennings boycotts AVP Championships

USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set