Beach Volleyball 2012: What to Watch for in Women's Gold Medal Match

Aidan Reynolds@@aidanreynoldsContributor IIIAugust 8, 2012

Misty May-Treanor will have to say many more goodbyes tonight.
Misty May-Treanor will have to say many more goodbyes tonight.Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Misty May-Treanor isn’t about to walk away from beach volleyball without a fight—that much is certain.

The all-USA final promises to provide a fantastic example of two teams at the top of their game—united under the same flag, but without a trace of comradeship.

April Ross and Jennifer Kessy will have no qualms about ruining May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh’s final game together, but they certainly don’t look at it that way.

Speaking after her own semifinal, Kessy gave her viewpoint:

“[...]I don't think we'd be a spoiler of anything. They've gotten their two gold medals." (via Nicole Auerbach,

The stage is set for a classic encounter, so here are three things to look out for.


An Emotional Farewell

Whatever happens in tonight’s game, there will be tears. After showing such dominance of the sport—never having lost at the Olympics—May-Treanor and Walsh will no longer play together after tonight.

May-Treanor has been keen to leave a legacy with Walsh as “the best team that’s ever happened” (via and there will be a huge amount of emotion held in check as the game progresses.

Whatever the result, the reaction of May-Treanor—and her partner—will be the same. Goodbyes don't get much bigger than this.


Tactical Maneuvering of the Ball

Kerri Walsh couldn’t be more suited for destruction at the net. With a 6'3" frame and a powerful kill, she has shown no mercy during her partnership with May-Treanor.

May-Treanor’s defense is better, but she can’t compete with her partner's natural instinct at the net. However, she has found herself taking the bulk of the spikes over the last few years, as opponents are now much wiser to Walsh and will try to make her set more than spike.

This match promises to be no different, so look for Kessy and Ross to keep Walsh away from the net.


Bizarre musical choices

So, you’re a Public Enemy fan, are you? Did you enjoy that last one? Well then, have we got the song for you. Coming up next: Katy Perry!

If you’ve not been watching beach volleyball, this sort of musical mismatch has been assaulting us via the PA system throughout the Games.

In classic English style, we’ve been treated to the Benny Hill theme whenever the sand has been raked over (We English would only be listening to it at home anyway, obviously.), and it’s been impossible to predict what will be played next.

If for some reason the final ends up being ridiculously dull, at least the music choices will be entertaining.