Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross win Cincinnati Open

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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross are rolling toward Rio.

The U.S.’ top beach volleyball pair extended its winning streak to 15 FIVB World Tour matches in capturing a second straight tournament, the Cincinnati Open on Saturday.

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, edged China’s Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi 20-22, 21-14, 18-16 in the final.

Walsh Jennings and Ross met mathematical Olympic qualification on Wednesday and are expected to be officially named to the U.S. Olympic team next month. They are Olympic medal favorites, along with Brazilians Larissa and Talita and Agatha and Barbara.

Walsh Jennings and Ross are on the second-longest FIVB World Tour winning streak of their three-year partnership, one shy of their best 16 straight in 2013-14.

Rio was not a certainty for Walsh Jennings and Ross last spring and summer, when Walsh Jennings twice dislocated her right shoulder during matches and required a fifth career right shoulder surgery.

Later Saturday, the top U.S. men’s team of 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena play in the Cincinnati men’s semifinals and, potentially, the final.

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