Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings are technically the underdogs in Tuesday’s beach volleyball matchup against their Chinese opponents, Xue Chen and Zhang Xi.
However, history and recent performances are on the side of the U.S. women. They should have no problem knocking out the No. 2 seed as the No. 3 in this tournament and reaching the gold-medal game.
May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings hold a 9-5 all-time lead in competitions against their Chinese opponents. They know how to beat them, especially in Olympic competition. Remember, the American duo never dropped a set in Athens or Beijing and finally had the streak snapped last Wednesday.
That streak's end likely just made them hungrier to be more dominant, as May-Treanor/Walsh-Jennings tore through their Italian opponents on Sunday night in straight sets.
While Xue/Zhang destroyed the famous Americans in Moscow earlier this year (21-14, 21-14), they have coasted through their side of the bracket and never faced a challenge even close to what a revitalized May-Treanor/Walsh-Jennings are preparing to bring.
It’s likely the end of the line for Xue/Zhang, who won bronze in their home country back in 2008. They have plenty of time left to compete at a high level, while this is likely the last rodeo for the United States superstars.
A win would potentially set up an all-American gold-medal game in women’s beach volleyball.
Jen Kessy and April Ross will be matching up against the Brazilian powerhouse duo of Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta in a No. 4 vs. No. 1 contest later in the evening.
It would be an epic battle that would make the Americans at home extremely proud. Watching May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings win one final gold would be the icing on the cake.