Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings captured their third consecutive Olympic beach volleyball gold medal Wednesday in a historic meeting of two United States teams, both with players who grew up playing the sport on California's beaches.
May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings defeated the team of Jen Kessy and April Ross, 21-16, 21-16, for the gold. Kessy and Ross earned the silver medal in their first Olympics.
Both teams went through world-class competition to meet in the final. May-Treanor, of Long Beach, and Walsh-Jennings, of Hermosa Beach, eliminated China in the semifinals. Kessy and Ross, both of Orange County, rebounded after losing their first set to defeat a favored Brazil side in their semifinal.
Ross and Kessy rallied from a first-set loss and a four-point deficit in the second to beat reigning world champions Juliana and Larissa 15-21, 21-19, 15-12.
May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won gold in Athens and Beijing. They purused other interested immediately after Beijing, and there were questions surrounding their status for London, but the two reunited for one last Olympic run.
Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor won gold medals in Athens and Beijing without ever losing a set. They ran their match unbeaten streak to 21 in a row with Wednesday's victory.
After Wednesday's final, they both fell to their knees and hugged on the sand after Ross' final serve went long. They also went into the stands to hug family and friends.