Walsh Jennings and Ross enjoy a big night on the beach


April Ross and Stanford grad Kerri Walsh Jennings recorded a 21-14, 21-13 win over Australia's Mariafe Artacho and Nicole Laird in the opening round of Olympic beach volleyball in Rio.

The Americans meet China's Fan Wang and Yuan Yue on Monday.

Ross and Walsh Jennings are the United States' lone pair with Olympic backgrounds, Ross a 2012 silver medalist and Walsh Jennings a three-time gold medalist. Using their experience to their advantage, the duo quickly jumped into their Olympic opener with focus.

"It was what we hoped for," Ross said afterward. "We wanted to come out and focus on our side of the net, take care of the ball, establish a good feeling, a good connection, a good rhythm and I think that's what we did."

Despite the match starting behind schedule, at 12:34 a.m. local time, due to a three-setter between China and Switzerland, the pair were energized still afterward.

"It's fun," Walsh Jennings said. "It's a party out there. It's a party atmosphere especially under the lights at night. The Brazilians get louder at night and our fans were amazing tonight."

— USA Volleyball


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