Bump, set, kill: The best volleyball photos from the Tokyo Olympics

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Gold-medal match

Alix Klineman and April Ross hug friends after the U.S. won the gold medal in beach volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics
Alix Klineman and April Ross celebrate with friends after winning the gold medal in beach volleyball.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Alix Klineman and April Ross smile and hold up their gold medals
Alix Klineman, front, and April Ross receive their gold medals after defeating Australia.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

I can’t fathom that it worked out the way it did. It’s kind of a fairy-tale story.

— April Ross

The U.S.' April Ross drops to one knee on the sand and shouts after winning the gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
April Ross celebrates after capturing the gold medal in beach volleyball. Ross also has a silver and bronze medals from previous Olympics.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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April Ross spikes the ball past Taliqua Clancy of Australia at the Tokyo Olympics
April Ross spikes the ball past Australia’s Taliqua Clancy during the gold-medal match.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Switzerland vs. Latvia

Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli celebrate Switzerland's bronze-medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics
Switzerland’s Nina Betschart, left, and Tanja Huberli celebrate beating Latvia for the bronze.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

U.S. vs. Switzerland

Women beach volleyball players shout in celebration on court.
April Ross and Alix Klineman celebrate a victory over Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich of Switzerland in the beach volleyball semifinal.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

“Just because you work for [it] and just because you do everything you can doesn’t mean that it happens. The fact that everything is falling into place just feels so magical.”

— Team USA’s Alex Klineman

A closeup of hands and a volleyball in the air.
Alix Klineman stretches her fingers to the limit in an attempt to block the spike of Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich in the beach volleyball semifinal.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Two women leap up at the net with the volleyball between them.
Alix Klineman blocks the spike of Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich in the beach volleyball semifinal.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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“We didn’t find our rhythm. We had a lot of struggles there.”

— Switzerland’s Anouk Verge-Depre

Closeup of a woman in sunglasses and visor as she bends forward.
USA’s April Ross gets ready to receive a serve from Switzerland in the beach volleyball semifinal.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

U.S. vs. Cuba

A woman is shown midair hitting a volleyball.
U.S. player April Ross dives to save the ball during a Round of 16 match against Cuba.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Two women at the net with the volleyball above.
Team USA’s Alix Klineman stretches to block a tipped ball from Cuba’s Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Two women leap at the net.
April Ross spikes the ball past Cuba’s Lidianny Echevarria Benitez.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

U.S. vs. Switzerland

Two men leap at the net.
The United States’ Jacob Gibb spikes the ball against Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich in men’s beach volleyball.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Tri Bourne runs across the sand behind two sets of airborne legs.
Tri Bourne plays defense against Switzerland in beach volleyball.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Closeup of a male player in sunglasses behind a net that has the Olympic rings.
Tri Bourne waits for the serve during the men’s match against Switzerland.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

U.S. vs. China

Women on the volleyball court smile, stretch out their arms and shout.
Team USA celebrates a point against China during indoor volleyball.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
A woman leaps for a volleyball amid numerous outstretched arms.
The United States’ Jordan Larson spikes the ball against China during indoor volleyball.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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A woman shouts skyward with both arms outstretched.
Justine Wong Orantes and U.S. teammates celebrate a point against China.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Three women reach up at the net; the volleyball is a blur among them.
Jordan Thompson of the United States spikes the ball against China.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Spectacular images from L.A. Times staff at the Tokyo Olympics