Another gold medal won by Stanford grad Walsh Jennings


The U.S. beach volleyball team of April Ross and Stanford grad Kerri Walsh Jennings claimed their first Grand Slam gold medal while Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal claimed bronze on Sunday at the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.

Ross and Walsh Jennings, seeded No. 2 in the main draw, defeated reigning FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour champions and No. 1 seeds Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima of Brazil in the final, 21-17, 22-24, 15-13.

In the men's bronze medal match, Dalhausser and Rosenthal, seeded No. 1, defeated Italy's No. 5 Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo, 21-19, 15-21, 15-11.

In the women's semifinal, Ross and Walsh Jennings defeated Netherlands' No. 13 No. 13 Marleen van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink, 21-14, 21-17.

The women's gold-medal match swung back and forth between the two determined teams until Ross and Walsh Jennings nudged ahead right at the end of the third set before winning with their second match point.

"They came to win, they are a very good team and we were the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the tournament so I think we both wanted to be here," Ross said. "I loved how we pulled it out in the end. We played as a team and it feels really good to win again."

It is Ross and Walsh Jennings' second gold medal of the year. They won the season opening Fuzhou Open in China. They first teamed up in mid-2013 and won the Sao Paolo and Xiamen Grand Slams before the end of the year.

Ross and Walsh Jennings now move on to the Berlin Grand Slam, the second of seven Grand Slams in an eight week period.

"It is so huge," Walsh Jennings said. "Every win is important on the World Tour and we cherish and learn from every one. I virtually gave away set two because I set like a rookie and I'm so proud with how we stuck together. April didn't quit on me, she didn't get mad at me."


Sacred Heart Prep grad Dalan Refioglu qualified for match play at the 103rd annual California State Amateur Championships by shooting qualifying rounds of 73-72-145 at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad.

Refioglu shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday to emerge as the only local golfer from the original qualifying field of 156 players. Sacred Heart Prep senior Bradley Keller and Stanford's Dominick Francks failed to qualify.

At the annual Robert O'Brien Memorial tournament on Tuesday at Poplar Creek in San Mateo, Jonathan Dicks of Menlo Park won the boys' 12-13 age division with a 4-over 74 in the Junior Golf Association of Northern California event.

Alyssa Sales of Palo Alto finished third in the girls' 12-14 bracket after shooting 82. In the girls' 15-17 division, Castilleja's Nicole Mitchell was fifth following an 80.

Scholastic honors

Three Menlo School spring sports teams were named Central Coast Section Scholastic champions and four other teams made the top five of those with the highest collective grade-point average in their respective sports.

Menlo baseball, boys swimming and boys track and field each had the top GPA during the 2014 spring season. Baseball amassed a 3,6176 GPA, swimming had a collective 3.7669 and track and field took first with a 3.6707.

Castilleja also had three first-place squads to lead the local girls -- lacrosse (3.7789), softball (3.7824) and swimming (3.7615).

Menlo boys tennis, with a collective 3.6464 GPA and boys golf, with a 3.6557 GPA, each picked up second place in their respective sports. Boys lacrosse was third (3.3815) and girls swimming was fourth (3.6436).

In track and field, the Sacred Heart Prep boys were third (3.4948) while the girls were fourth (3.6944).

— USA volleyball/Palo Alto Online Sports

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