Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat looked prepared to cruise after winning their first Olympic set of Pool A in beach volleyball on Sunday at the Copacabana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
But Poland’s Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska rallied, thrived and eventually dominated the match to snag 21-13 and 15-7 wins en route to a 1-0 record.
That’s a critical loss for the U.S., as both sides still need to face overall No. 1 seed Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes of Brazil before the conclusion of group play.
Next up for the second U.S. pairing of Fendrick and Sweat is that Brazilian pairing on Tuesday. No. 1 pairing Kerri Walsh-Jennings and April Ross handled their business late Saturday night to move to 1-0 in Pool C.
The top two third-place teams will advance to the knockout round bracket, while the other four third-place squads will square off to earn the title of “Lucky Losers”.