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STANFORD, Calif. - On the 14th day of competition at the 2008 Beijing Games, Stanford's athletes continued to roll on towards Olympic Gold. Kerri Walsh `00 and partner Misty May-Traenor won their 107th straight match to advance to the beach volleyball gold-medal match, where they will defend their 2004 Olympic crown. In the pool, Stanford's Brenda Villa, Jessica Steffens, and Alison Gregorka accounted for five of the U.S. goals in the water polo team's 9-8 victory over Australia, which puts the squad in the final for a chance at its first Olympic Gold medal. On the baseball diamond, John Gall `00 homered and scored twice to help Team USA clinch a spot in the medal round.
Snapshots of the Stanford athletes' performances...
In Baseball action...
Gall went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and a double in Team USA's 4-2 victory over Chinese Taipei early Tuesday morning at the Wukesong Baseball Main Field. The victory clinched Team USA's berth in the semifinals with one preliminary round game remaining.
With the score knotted at 1-1, Gall led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run that put the U.S. in front by a run, and started a rally which saw the American side take a 3-1 lead.
Later, with Team USA holding on to a 3-2 lead in the eighth, Gall led off the frame with a double and came around to score the insurance run on Jason Donald's base hit two batters later.
Team USA (4-2) will now face Japan Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. PT. Although both teams have qualified for the medal round, by virtue of the squads owning matching 4-2 records, Wednesday's winner will earn the No. 3 seed in the semifinals and face Cuba (5-1), with the loser facing No. 1 seed Korea (6-0).
In Beach Volleyball action...
Walsh and May-Treanor will get their chance to play for a gold medal. The pair dominated yet another opponent in the women's beach semifinals, downing Brazil's Renata Ribeiro and Talita Antunes 21-12, 21-14 for their 107th consecutive victory and the guarantee of at least a silver.
Walsh and May-Treanor will play China's top-seeded Tian Jia and Wang Jie in the final, looking to become the first American pair, men or women, to repeat gold on the beach. The gold medal match is set for 8 p.m. PT Wednesday night.
In Track & Field action...
In the qualifying rounds of the women's long jump, Arantxa King of Bermuda leaped 19-8 ¾, but did not qualify for the final. King, who recently finished her freshman season for the Cardinal, was competing in her first Olympic Games.
In Women's Volleyball action...
In a thrilling five-set match, fourth-seeded Team USA stunned Italy in the quarterfinals, ousting the No. 2 squad in the world from the competition. Led by Stanford's Logan Tom '03, the U.S. rallied to come from behind and claim the 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 15-6) victory.
Starting all five sets at outside hitter, Tom paced the team's offense with 19 points on 14 kills, three blocks and two aces. Stanford's Ogonna Nnamani '05 did not appear in the match.
Team USA will head to the semifinals to take on Cuba Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. PT.
In Women's Water Polo action...
The Stanford trio of Villa, Gregorka, and Steffens led the U.S. into the Gold Medal Final with a 9-8 victory over Australia late Monday night. Villa's first hat trick of the tournament, along with her two assists and goals from both Gregorka and Steffens, highlighted a contest which saw the U.S. break open a 4-4 tie at halftime with four goals in the third period.
The trio also made its presence felt on defense, as Steffens and Villa each made a pair of field blocks, and Gregorka accounted for one as well.
The U.S. will go for its first Olympic Gold medal early Thursday morning, facing off against the Netherlands at 3:20 a.m. PT at the Yingdong Natatorium.