Olympics Latest: US pair knocked out of beach volleyball
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic:
Americans Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes are out of the beach volleyball tournament after a three-set loss to Canada in the knockout round opener.
Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson beat the U.S. 22-24, 21-18, 15-13 at the Shiokaze Park venue. Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are set to meet Qatar in the afternoon session.
Sponcil and Claes trailed 11-6 in the first set but rallied to take their first lead at 19-18. They won it on their third set point when Bansley’s hit rolled across the net and landed at the feet of the chair umpire.
The Americans scored the first five points of the second and led 10-4 before Canada closed to 10-9 and took its first lead at 17-16. It was 19-17 when a successful challenge brought Canada to double set point.
Canada appeared to take a 13-11 lead in the third set on a hit that was initially ruled out. A challenge declared the ball in, even though replays appeared to show it missed the tape. Canada disputed the result and on further review, it was ruled out.
Wilkerson knocked down a pass that got too close to the net for a triple set point, and they won it when Wilkerson hit it over on two to a wide open part of the court.
Claes and Sponcil entered the games as the hottest team in the world, winning the last two events of the pandemic-extended qualifying period to grab the second U.S. spot in Tokyo. In the process, they knocked out five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings.
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