May-Treanor And Walsh Jennings Go Out Golden, With A Three-Peat

Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings (left) and Misty May-Treanor yell after winning a record third-straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball, at the Horse Guard's Parade in London. i i

hide captionAmericans Kerri Walsh Jennings (left) and Misty May-Treanor yell after winning a record third-straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball, at the Horse Guard's Parade in London.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings (left) and Misty May-Treanor yell after winning a record third-straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball, at the Horse Guard's Parade in London.

Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings (left) and Misty May-Treanor yell after winning a record third-straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball, at the Horse Guard's Parade in London.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have won an unprecedented Olympic three-peat in women's beach volleyball, as they defeated their fellow Americans, the team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, in the gold medal match.

The match lasted just 36 minutes, as May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won the first and second sets by the same score: 21-16. On the final point, Ross' serve floated long, and the celebration was on. May-Treanor started dancing on the sand, and the players ran to the stands to hug their loved ones.

For May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings, the win brings both a gold medal and an end to their run as what many call the greatest volleyball team in history. May-Treanor, 35, is retiring after the London Games, while Walsh Jennings, 33, says she will continue to play.

The bronze medal was won by Brazil's Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca — the top-ranked duo that fell to Ross and Kessy in a three-set, hour-long game Monday. The Brazilians defeated China's Xi Zhang and Chen Xue in the bronze medal match earlier Wednesday.

Faced with serves from Ross and Kessy that averaged nearly 20 kilometers per hour faster than their own, the team of May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won with defense and steady attacks.

They had 17 successful digs in the match, to Ross and Kessy's 9. Fifteen of those digs were by May-Treanor. Walsh Jennings was successful in 11 of 20 attacks.

The silver medal came in Ross and Kessy's first Olympics.

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