Olympics: Gibb, Rosenthall stunned in London


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


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


Former UC Irvine All-Americans David Smith and Brian Thornton both contributed heavily to the U.S. men’s volleyball team’s 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 victory over Tunisia on Monday to complete Group B play.

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.

Thornton, the team’s backup setter, had 15 running sets and scored two points for the defending gold medalists, who will meet Italy, the No. 4 seed from Group A, in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

The U.S. team, which includes former UCI coach John Speraw as an assistant, is 4-1 in the tournament, while Italy is 3-2.

— From staff reports


UC Irvine alum Jeff Powers scored a goal, but the U.S. men’s water polo team lost to Hungary, 11-6, in the final game of group play Monday.

It was the second straight loss for the Americans, who finished fourth in Group B and will face Croatia, the No. 1 team in Group A, in a quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Powers, who is playing in his third Olympics, scored his goal with 4:37 left in the third quarter.

Anteaters alums Ryan Bailey and Tim Hutten are also members of this year’s U.S. team. Newport Harbor High boys’ coach Robert Lynn is an assistant coach for Team USA.

— From staff reports


The U.S. women’s water polo team that includes Corona del Mar High graduate Tumua Anae, beat 2012 European champion Italy, 9-6, on Sunday to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals.

Team USA, for which UCI women’s coach Dan Klatt is an assistant coach, will face Australia on Tuesday in a rematch of the 2008 Olympic semifinal won by the Americans, 9-8.

Australia, considered a co-favorite with Team USA to win gold in London, beat the Americans in the 2000 gold-medal game in Sydney, Australia, while the U.S. squad topped Australia in the bronze-medal game in 2004 in Athens, Greece.

Anae, a backup goalie, did not play Sunday.

— From staff reports