Olympic Beach Volleyball 2021: Team USA Beats Australia to Win Gold Medal

Blake SchusterContributor IAugust 6, 2021

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 06: April Ross #1 and Alix Klineman #2 of Team United States celebrate while competing against Team Australia during the Women's Gold Medal Match on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Shiokaze Park on August 06, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The United States is the class of women's beach volleyball once again. 

Five years after the U.S. was dethroned at the Rio Olympics, the first-time pairing of April Ross and Alix Klineman captured the gold medal in straight sets, winning 21-15, 21-16 and without any real sign of trouble over the course of the 43-minute match. 

NBC Sports @NBCSports

The A-Team wins GOLD!<a href="https://twitter.com/AprilRossBeach?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AprilRossBeach</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/alixklineman?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alixklineman</a>. CHAMPS. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/9sbZb0djK7">pic.twitter.com/9sbZb0djK7</a>

It's the fourth gold medal in women's beach volleyball for the United States and the first that didn't feature either Misty May-Treanor or Kerri Walsh Jennings on the court. Jennings was paired with Ross in 2016 when their bid for a fourth consecutive gold ended with bronze. 

Redemption was only an Olympiad away.

The U.S. now has more gold medals in the sport (4) than every other country combined (3). 

Thursday's match point in Japan didn't even require much of the Americans. Their Australian counterparts—Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy—ended their quest for gold by serving the ball straight into the net.

Arielle (Ari) Chambers @ariivory

Also for Aus to lose on a service error. 🙃🙃🙃🙃<br><br>Serves aint never been loyal.

It was one of 14 total errors by the silver medalists, who dropped the first set when their serve went out of bounds. 

Yet the USA was in control from start to finish. The Americans took a 12-6 lead in the first set, then raced out to a 14-5 lead in the second. Along the way, Ross and Klineman combined for seven aces and outscored Australia 42-31 overall. 

Five years after a disappointing bronze, the U.S. is back on top of the podium, and history says it may not be giving it up any time soon.