Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings advance to Olympics beach volleyball semis

Misty May-Treanor, left, and Kerri Walsh Jennings, right,

Misty May-Treanor, left, and Kerri Walsh Jennings, right, react during the quarterfinal women's beach volleyball match against Italy at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. (Aug. 5, 2012) (Credit: AP)

LONDON - Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor beat Italy in straight sets in the beach volleyball quarterfinals Sunday to remain on track for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal.

The Americans earned a berth in the semifinals against Beijing bronze medalists Xue Chen and Zhang Xi. The Chinese team has beaten the two-time defending Olympic champions the last three times they've met, including the final of the Moscow Grand Slam last month.

"We're a different team since then," Walsh Jennings said after beating Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari 21-13, 21-13. "We're going to come out and give it all we can, because we have to."



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The Chinese team, which lost its first match in London, beat Austrian sisters Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger 21-18, 21-11. Although they have nine losses and five wins against the Americans, they have not lost to Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor in a year, including a 21-14, 21-14 victory in Moscow this June.

"Losing is one thing," Walsh Jennings said. "But losing in a way that you can't walk away with your heads held high is another. Misty and I have really come together. We've looked at ourselves individually and as a team."

In the other quarterfinals, the No. 2 U.S. women's team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross beat the Czech Republic 25-23, 21-18. The Americans will play the winner of the remaining quarterfinal between top-seeded Larissa and Juliana of Brazil and Germany.

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