Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Rainy Rally Drives A-Team to Olympic Pool Victory

TOKYO (July 30, 2021) – It was a thrilling match played in the midst of a torrential downpour when Alix Klineman and April Ross showcased their incredible skill on the volleyball court. Despite the challenging weather conditions, they emerged victorious, looking as though they had just taken a dip in an Olympic-sized pool. In a hard-fought battle against Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands, Klineman and Ross secured a victory of 2-1 (20-22, 21-17, 15-5), clinching the pool B title in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This win marked their third victory in the games and their closest match yet.

A Tough Battle and Gratitude

“We’re stoked,” exclaimed Ross. “We had a tough pool, really tough pool. We’re really grateful to come out first.” Ranked fifth in the world by the FIVB, Klineman and Ross earned the coveted No. 2 seed in the playoff bracket. Their Round of 16 opponent will be determined on Saturday, July 31, once the Lucky Loser matches decide the final third-place teams to reach the playoffs.

To secure their second seed, Klineman and Ross faced a determined Dutch team desperate for a win. Keizer and Meppelink, at 0-2 in the tournament, needed a victory for a chance at a Lucky Loser match. The match between the two teams was closely contested amidst heavy rain. Keizer and Meppelink managed to score the final two points, winning the first set 20-22.

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A Dramatic Comeback

In the second set, Klineman and Ross found themselves facing a three-point deficit halfway through the frame. They quickly rallied, scoring four consecutive points and seven out of the next eight, propelling them to a 16-13 lead. From that point on, they maintained their momentum, winning the set 21-17.

As the rain intensified again in the third set, Klineman and Ross showed their resilience and determination. Klineman’s powerful block gave the U.S. team a 6-3 lead. After a sideout by the Netherlands, the duo elevated their performance, winning nine of the final ten points to secure the set and the match.

Stellar Performances

Both Klineman and Ross displayed exceptional skill, contributing significantly to their team’s victory. Ross scored all 20 of her points through powerful attacks, while Klineman delivered an impressive performance with 12 attack points out of 14 attempts. Additionally, she blocked five shots from the Dutch team and served up three aces in the decisive third set.

“With the rain, the sand got pretty hard packed today, and that affects the way players play,” explained Klineman. “I think you saw a lot more hitting today than normal because it’s so packed.”


Q: How many victories have Alix Klineman and April Ross achieved in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020?

A: This win against Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands marked their third victory in the games.

Q: What rank do Alix Klineman and April Ross hold in the FIVB rankings?

A: They are currently ranked fifth in the world by the FIVB.

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Klineman and Ross’s outstanding performance amid challenging weather conditions earned them a hard-fought victory and the pool B title at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Their resilience and determination were on full display as they overcame both the tough competition and the relentless rain to secure their win. With their eyes set on the playoffs, Klineman and Ross are poised to continue their impressive run in the tournament.