Olympics: Ross remains unbeaten

SportsApril RossRyan Bailey (water polo)Tim HuttenUC IrvineBrian Thornton

Newport Harbor High product April Ross and her partner, Jennifer Kessy, outlasted a team from Spain to complete Group D play undefeated in women's beach volleyball on Thursday.

Ross and Kessy posted a 21-19, 19-21, 19-17 triumph over Baquerizo McMillan and Fernandez Steiner for their third Group D victory.

Ross had 22 kills, 10 digs and one block. She had seven service errors without an ace.

Kessy chipped in 18 kills, 10 digs and one block.

Ross and Kessy earned the No. 4 seed in the round of 16 that begins Friday. They will square off against the Swiss team of Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr.

Looming in a potential semifinal matchup for Ross-Kessy could be the No. 1-seeded Brazilian team of Julianna and Felisberta Silva.

On the other side of the women's bracket will be No. 3-seeded Misty May-Treanorand Kerri Walsh Jennings.

May-Treanor, a Newport Harbor graduate playing in her final professional tournament, and Walsh Jennings, who were also 3-0 in their group, will face the No. 9-seeded team of Marleen Van Iersel and Sanne Keizer from the Netherlands in their round of 16 contest on Saturday.

Should May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings, who have won the last two Olympic gold medals, advance to the semis, they would likely face the No. 2-seeded Chinese team of Xue Chen and Zhang Xi.

— From staff reports

MEN'S WATER POLO

UC Irvine product Ryan Bailey recorded his second straight hat trick in a 13-7 victory for the U.S. Olympic men's water polo team over Great Britain in Group B play Thursday.

Bailey scored his first goal of the game with 2:41 left in the second quarter to put the U.S. up, 8-1.

He converted a penalty shot and power-play goal in the fourth quarter to follow up his hat trick from Tuesday's win over Romania.

Jeff Powers, another Anteaters alumnus, scored the Americans' final goal Thursday with 3:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Tony Azevedo led the U.S. with four goals in the victory.

The Americans, 3-0, sit atop Group B with six points and face second-place Serbia (five points) Saturday at 11:40 a.m. (PT). The U.S. closes out pool play Monday against Hungary at 7:30 a.m. (PT).

Bailey, a four-time All-American at UCI and 1998 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year, is one of the first two male athletes (along with Azevedo) in USA water polo history to compete in four Olympics. Powers is making his third appearance in the Olympics and Tim Hutten, the third former Anteater on Team USA, his second. They were members of the 2008 American squad that won silver in Beijing.

Hutten played nearly 23 minutes in Thursday's win.

— From staff reports

MEN'S VOLLEYBALL

The U.S. men's volleyball team, coached by former Orange Coast College standout Alan Knipe, rallied for a 23-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-17 Group B victory over Brazil, the top-ranked team in the world, on Thursday.

Former UC Irvine All-American middle blocker David Smith played for Team USA, which defeated Brazil in the 2008 gold medal match in Beijing. Smith did not accumulate any stats.

Former UCI All-American setter Brian Thornton did not play for the Americans.

The U.S. unit is now 2-0 in group play and can clinch the top spot in Group B with a victory over Russia on Saturday. Russia and Brazil have six points in the group standings, three off the pace of the Americans, for whom former UCI Coach John Speraw is an assistant.

— From staff reports

MEN'S BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Costa Mesa resident Jake Gibb and Corona del Mar resident Sean Rosenthal, who wrapped up the top spot in their group on Wednesday, learned Thursday that they are the No. 4 seed in the tournament that includes the final 16 teams.

Gibb and Rosenthal will face Serguey Prokopyev and Konstantin Semenov of Russia in the round of 16 on Saturday.

Should Gibb and Rosenthal advance to the semifinals, they would likely face the top-seeded Brazilian duo of Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti.

— From staff reports

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