In a dominating performance from the first serve until the final hug, April Ross and Alix Klineman defeated Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy of Australia 21-15, 21-16 in the women’s beach volleyball gold medal match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ross won a silver medal with Jen Kessy in 2012 in London, and bronze with Kerri Walsh-Jennings in Rio in 2016. But her partnership with Klineman, who was an indoor star abroad before transitioning back to the AVP Tour and the beach game, proved to be the perfect pairing.
A faulted serve from Artacho to finish the match was an appropriate ending for one where the Aussies were basically never in it. The USA combined for seven aces as a team, and Klineman added two blocks. It was the efficiency of the offense, with perfect passing under difficult conditions making all the difference.
It begins what could be one of the biggest nights for American women’s volleyball, the indoor team takes on Serbia in the semifinals at midnight for the right to play in the gold medal game on Saturday.
The Americans were a -260 favorite in the match at DraftKings Sportsbook.