U.S. beach volleyball player April Ross - the London Games silver and Rio bronze medalist - and partner Alix Klineman defeated Germany in the women's quarterfinals on Tuesday, becoming the last woman standing with Olympic medals to her name.
The victory underscored the strength of the United States, who along with Brazil have earned the most medals from the sport since its debut at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
On Tuesday, Ross played a pivotal role in the 44-minute, 21-19, 21-19 sweep of Germany’s Laura Ludwig, a Rio gold medalist, and partner Margareta Kozuch.
With the help of her 6-foot-5 partner Klineman, who earned three block points in the match, Ross scored most of the attack points while demonstrating receiving techniques, or digs, as occasional rain eased the scorching heat.
"That's a super strong German team,” Ross said. “I think it was just trusting in our ability as a team, what we do and we did a lot of preparations and kind of stuck with what we want to do. Yeah, trusted ourselves in each other."
We just go into every match, ready to battle ... We just have to work really, really hard and the level is just higher in every competition," she added.
Since 1996, the United States has won 10 Olympic beach volleyball medals, including six golds. Brazil has won three golds and 10 other medals, but their two teams have been eliminated.