TOKYO– April Ross and Alix Klineman placed away a Cuban team they had actually never ever played prior to.

Next up for the Americans is just one of the most familiar faces in all of coastline volley ball: Four-time Olympian– and also safeguarding gold medalist– Laura Ludwig.

Ross as well as Klineman beat Cuba in straight collections, 21-17, 21-15 in their knockout round opener on Monday to reach the quarterfinals, where they will meet the German and also her present partner, Maggie Kozuch.

Ludwig as well as Kira Walkenhorst won everything in Rio de Janeiro, where Ross as well as Kerri Walsh Jennings took bronze.

” We have a lot of respect for them as well as, undoubtedly, Laura’s success,” stated Klineman, who additionally played against Kozuch on the Italian interior volleyball scenic tour. “We understand they’re going to come out inspired. As are we.”

Asked the number of times she had bet the 35-year-old Ludwig throughout the years, Ross stated “a great deal. A whole lot.” According to the Coastline Volleyball Database, Ross and also her companions are 20-8 over the years against Ludwig as well as hers; they did not fulfill in London or Rio.

One day after two UNITED STATE groups were eliminated in the round of 16, Ross as well as Klineman defeated Lidy Echeverria and also Leila Martinez to maintain the Americans’ finest medal hopes to life.

After losing the initial set, Cuba racked up the first 4 points of the 2nd and still led 9-5 when the Americans cut the deficiency to two. At 9-7, Echeverria landed under the net after chasing after a sphere, and also Klineman landed on top of her.

Cuba was originally awarded the factor, yet the Americans whined to chair referee Rui Carvalho that there was disturbance; he consulted 2nd referee Mariko Satomi, as well as they offered the indicate the Americans.

” It’s just people choosing the round, and also she came under,” Klineman said. “We understood, and also I obtained a little terminated up and we utilized that for some momentum going forward. You know, no tough sensations. I believe we’re both simply attempting to make a play.”

Rather than a 10-7 Cuban lead, it was 9-8.

And Echeverria was slow-moving to rise. After a few mins on the sand with her companion often tending to her, she obtained up and also evaluated her knee.

” Once we understood that she was a little pain, we were trying to enable her to gather herself,” Ross said.

The suit proceeded, yet not for a lot longer.

” Certainly, I do not wish to see anyone wounded,” Klineman claimed, “specifically at the Olympics.”

In other matches Monday, No. 1 seed Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada defeated Spain in straight sets.

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