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Californians take the Gold and Silver Medals in Women’s Beach Volleyball

Californians Misty May-Treanor and teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings took the Gold Medal for the USA in Women’s Beach Volleyball today in London. They defeated their opponents (also Americans and Californians), Jennifer Kessy (born in San Clemente, hometown San Juan Capistrano) and April Ross (born in Costa Mesa, hometown Newport Beach) 21-16, 21-16 in an all-American final tonight. May-Traynor (born in Los Angeles, hometown Costa Mesa) and Walsh Jennings (born in Santa Clara, hometown Santa Clara) played “…in the Summer Games together for the last time, the twice-defending champions extended their unbeaten streak to 21 in a row — through Athens, Beijing and now London….

“It’s insane. It doesn’t feel like it’s real,” Walsh Jennings said. “I told Misty when we were getting our medals: ‘If I wake up tomorrow and we have to replay this match, I’m going to be furious.’ Because it feels like I’m in a dream.

“It truly feels surreal and it didn’t feel like that the first two times for whatever reason. But this, it’s almost too good to be true.”

Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor have won every match they’ve ever played at the Summer Games for THREE Olympiads and lost just one of 43 sets. Before the American women won their second straight Gold Medal in Beijing, NOBODY had ever won two Gold Medals. No woman had ever won three Olympic beach volleyball medals of any kind.

The other two American women, Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, won the Silver Medal.

“I know how hard it is to win one tournament. And the amount of tournaments they’ve won is crazy,” said Kessy, who jumped for joy on the medal podium after she and Ross won silver in their Olympic debuts. “For them to do it for years and years and to be on top is just really impressive. We learn a lot from them.”

Earlier today, I watched the final minutes of the match in which Brazil’s Juliana and Larissa beat Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China to win the Bronze Medal.

During the medal ceremony, the four Americans hugged after receiving their prizes and stood facing the two American flags raised during the national anthem. Despite both a shutout in the men’s tournament, the United States matched its best finish since beach volleyball was added to the Olympics in 1996.

May-Treanor will retire to raise her family with her husband, Matt Treanor, catcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The SFgate article has photographs of the volleyball match and victory celebrations.

-Bill at

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