Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross lost to top-ranked Brazilians Larissa and Talita for a second straight tournament on Saturday and appear headed to the Rio Olympics as underdogs.
Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, an Olympic silver medalist, fell 21-18, 21-14 in the final of an FIVB World Tour event in Gstaad, Switzerland. It marked their final event before Rio.
“I’m pissed about this loss,” Ross said, according to USA Volleyball. “It feels terrible to stand where we were standing at the end.”
Just to get to the final, Walsh Jennings and Ross overcame three match points in the second set of their semifinal earlier Saturday to beat German Olympic medal favorites Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.
Walsh Jennings and Ross are now 1-5 in their career against Larissa and Talita. Their series history:
Feb. 27, 2015 — 26-24 in Rio de Janeiro (exhibition)
Aug. 23, 2015 — 21-18, 21-16 in Long Beach, Calif.
March 20, 2016 — 22-20, 21-19 in Vitoria, Brazil
May 29, 2016 — 22-20, 21-17 in Moscow (Walsh Jennings, Ross win)
June 11, 2016 — 21-15, 21-17 in Hamburg, Germany
July 9, 2016 — 21-18, 21-14 in Gstaad, Switzerland
Larissa and Talita, seeking to become Brazil’s first Olympic women’s beach volleyball champions in 20 years, have won 13 of their 24 international tournaments since pairing in July 2014.
Walsh Jennings and Ross have won 10 of their 28 international tournaments since pairing in 2013.
The FIVB World Tour continues in Klagenfurt, Austria, in two weeks, the final tournament before the Olympics.Follow @nzaccardi