Rome, Italy, June 18 – Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh’s fairytale return to beach volleyball action is now one step away from the dream ending after they beat Chen Xue and Xi Zhang to reach Sunday’s final at the FIVB Swatch World Championships Rome 2011 powered by smart.Exclusive interviews on FIVB Youtube Video Channel
The three-time champions needed to use all their experience to overcome the eighth seeds with a 21-17, 15-21, 15-10 win.
“It has been a challenging journey to the final and we are so far from finished,” Walsh said. “We haven’t played our best volleyball yet here in Rome and we really look forward to doing that tomorrow.
“They are a great team, we are very excited and it is how we wanted it. We plan to come out victorious.”
In all of their knockout games the 2003, 2005 and 2007 champions have gone to three sets and the match followed a similar pattern to their quarterfinal win over fellow United States duo and reigning champions, April Ross and Jennifer Kessy.
May-Treanor and Walsh started strongly to take the first set. Xue and Zhang then took the second before the fifth seeds came back to take the victory and the place on offer in the final.
“We definitely don’t want to go to three sets and every time we step out there we want to win in two,” May-Treanor said. “I was talking to Kerri about it and I think we beat the teams in the first set and maybe we get a little anxious and fall out of our rhythm.
“We get so anxious we start rushing. Then in the third set we calm down, get back in our rhythm and that is how we are supposed to play. We want to get consistent and we’re getting there. Sometimes getting back after losing the second set can be hard, but we brushed it off and came back.”
Having knocked out the 2009 champions the fifth-seeded May-Treanor and Walsh must now beat first seeds Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil.
It is a repeat of the 2005 final which the Americans won. For the Brazilians it is a chance to finally take a gold medal to add to their two World Championship silvers and one bronze.
“It is so exciting,” Walsh said. “We are 0 and 2 on them this year and we want to fix that tomorrow and get our first victory over them.
“It is going to be a big one, they’re a great team and it will be hard.”