April Ross and Alix Klineman take gold in two sets
The US “A-Team” of April Ross and Alix Klineman’s beat Australia in two sets, the first win for America since Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor claimed their third gold in a row in 2012.
The pair, who are both from southern California, quickly took the lead against Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy and never surrendered it.
Ross, who won bronze at Rio 2016, and Klineman, who was making her Olympic debut, went an undefeated 7-0 in the competition.
During their run to Olympic glory, the women, who both have the initial A in their names, received support from The A-Team actor Mr T, who played BA Baracus in the 1980’s TV show.
“I Pity the Competition,” he tweeted earlier this week, playing on his catchphrase from the show.
And he posted on Twitter that he was tuned in and watching the women win their final.
After their victory, Ross told NBC that it had been an “amazing experience.”
“It was so tough, such a shot in the dark to get here and do this with this kind of competition, it just kind of blows my mind,” she said.
“I could not have done this without Alix, obviously, she is amazing. To get a gold medal finally feels so amazing.”
Klineman, a former indoor volleyball star, said she was in “disbelief” at what they had achieved.
“This is what we dreamed of and why we sacrificed and worked so hard. I don’t know that I ever really expected this to come true,” she said.
“It feels like such a fairytale and I am so grateful for April and the rest of our team.”
Klineman was the national high school player of the year in 2006 before going to become a four-time All-American at Stanford.
She move to beach volleyball after being left off the US Olympic volleyball team for Rio 2016 and moved to the beach game.