Costa Mesa resident Jake Gibb and Corona del Mar resident Sean Rosenthal, who entered the London Olympics as the top men's beach volleyball team in the world, suffered a stunning loss on Monday and were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Gibb and Rosenthal, the No. 4-seeded team, fell, 19-21, 21-18, 15-11, to the No. 17-seeded Janis Smedins and Martin Plavins from Latvia.
The Americans led, 18-15, in Game 2, needing just three points to better the fifth-place finish they achieved at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. But the Latvians scored the next six points, then rolled to a 3-1 lead in the deciding game and were never challenged.
The quarterfinal loss means another fifth-place finish for Gibb and Rosenthal, who entered London coming off the best stretch in their time as teammates.
Gibb and Rosenthal were 3-2 in London.
The Latvians improved to 5-0, while advancing to the semifinals.
— From staff reports
WOMEN'S BEACH VOLLEYBALL
Two teams including Newport Harbor High graduates earned quarterfinal victories on Sunday and will play in women's beach volleyball semifinal matches Tuesday for the chance to face off in the gold-medal match.
Former Newport Harbor standout Misty May-Treanorand partner Kerri Walsh Jennings, the No. 3 seeded team, earned a 21-13, 21-13 quarterfinal triumph over the No. 7-seeded Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti of Italy.
May-Treanor, who said she will retire after the tournament, had 19 kills and 14 digs on Sunday.
May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings, two-time defending gold medalists who are unbeaten in three Olympics together, will face the No. 2-seeded Xue Chen and Zhang Xi from China. The Chinese duo is 4-1.
April Ross, also a Newport Harbor graduate, and her partner, Jennifer Kessy, the No. 4-seeded team, will face top-seeded Brazilians Larissa Franca and Julianna Felisberta Silva in the other semifinal on Tuesday.
Ross and Kessy, 5-0 in the tournament, defeated Krsityna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic, 25-23, 21-18, in the quarterfinals.
Ross had 20 kills, 10 digs and two ace serves against the No. 10-seeded Czech duo.
Silva and Franca are 5-0.
— From staff reports
The win gave Team USA the Group B crown with a 4-1 record, as Smith, a reserve middle blocker, had five kills on six swings, two ace serves and one block.