Aug. 3 (UPI) — United States women’s beach volleyball stars April Ross and Alix Klineman are now two wins away from their first Olympic gold medals after defeating Germany in the quarterfinals Tuesday in Japan.
The top women’s beach volleyball duo in the United States, also known as the “A-Team,” edged Margareta Kozuch and reigning Olympic gold medalist Laura Ludwig to reach the semifinals at the Summer Games in Tokyo.
The Americans defeated the Germans in straight sets, 21-19, 21-19. Ross and Klineman will face Switzerland’s pair of Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre in Thursday’s semifinal.
Ross, who won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Klineman — an Olympic first-timer — earned their quarterfinal spot with a 2-0 win over Cuba’s Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Martinez Ortega on Monday at Shiokaze Park.
The gold medal match is scheduled for Friday.
Ross and Klineman are the United States’ last hopes for a medal in beach volleyball at the Tokyo Games. Americans have never been shut out of an Olympic medal in the sport.