Thursday, 23 May 2024

Klineman/Ross Advance after Sweep of Cuba

The Olympic Games are known for bringing people together from around the world, creating opportunities for athletes to connect with those from different countries. Alix Klineman and April Ross had their chance to experience this firsthand when they faced off against Cuba’s Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega. In their first-ever match against NORCECA foes, Klineman and Ross emerged victorious with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) win.

Ross acknowledged the challenge of playing against an unfamiliar team, saying, “It’s a team we’ve never seen before. We knew that they’re very good, so it’s a little hard to know what to expect. They came out in the second set and served really, really well. Luckily we were able to adjust and handle that down the stretch.”

This victory propels Klineman and Ross to the quarterfinals, where they will face off against Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch from Germany. Ludwig, who won gold in Rio 2016 with her former partner Kira Walkenhorst, poses a formidable challenge for the American duo. The match is scheduled for Monday, August 2 at 5 pm Pacific time.

In their match against Cuba, Ross led all players with 14 points, all of which came from her attacks. Klineman contributed 13 points, including nine from attacks, three from blocks, and one from her service line. Known as the A-Team, Klineman and Ross also took advantage of 15 errors from Cuba while making only 10 mistakes themselves.

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Cuba briefly took the lead twice during the match. In the first set, they enjoyed a one-point lead at 6-5, but Klineman quickly equalized the score with a powerful kill. The United States then went on a 5-1 run, establishing a lead they would never relinquish.

The second set saw a more dangerous start for Cuba, as Echevarria Benitez and Martinez Ortega took early leads of 4-0 and 7-2. However, Klineman and Ross mounted a comeback, leveling the score at 9-9. Klineman’s well-placed attack on a Cuban overpass gave the American duo the lead, which they maintained until the end of the match. They outscored Cuba 11-6 from that point on, securing their spot in the quarterfinals.

Reflecting on the match, Klineman admitted, “I think we came out a little complacent in the beginning of the second set, and they served some really tough serves. I knew it was time to turn it up a bit or we weren’t going to win that set. This is too important of a match and too important of a tournament to not put your foot on the gas whenever you can.”

FAQs

Q: Who did Alix Klineman and April Ross defeat in their first match at the Olympics?
A: Alix Klineman and April Ross secured a victory over Cuba’s Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega.

Q: When is the quarterfinal match between Alix Klineman/April Ross and Laura Ludwig/Margareta Kozuch scheduled?
A: The match between Klineman/Ross and Ludwig/Kozuch is set to take place on Monday, August 2 at 5 pm Pacific time.

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Q: Which player led the scoring in the match against Cuba?
A: April Ross had an outstanding performance, leading all players with 14 points, all of which came from her attacks.

Summary

Alix Klineman and April Ross secured a spot in the quarterfinals after a convincing 2-0 win against Cuba’s Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega. Despite facing an unfamiliar team, Klineman and Ross adapted to the challenge and emerged victorious. Their next match will be against German duo Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch, scheduled for Monday, August 2. Ross led all players with 14 points, showcasing her attacking prowess. The American pair took advantage of Cuba’s errors, capitalizing on their 15 mistakes while committing only 10 themselves. Klineman and Ross remain focused on the tournament’s importance and continue to elevate their performance.