Tuesday's semifinal wins placed April Ross and Jennifer Kessy against fellow Golden State-ers Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the Olympic sandbox.
The California connection is strong in this competiton. Kessy is a graduate of Dana Hills High School in Dana Point and USC. Ross attended Newport Harbor High School in NewPort Beach and USC.
Kerri Walsh Jennings was born in Santa Clara, went to high school in San Jose, and atteneded college at Stanford. Her teammate Misty May-Treanor grew up playing volleyball by the Santa Monica Pier, also went to Newport Harbor High School, and played at Long Beach state. Side note: she's married to L.A. Dodger Matt Treanor.
This is the first Olympic spin for Ross and Kessy and the last Olympics together for Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor. Already the most-decorated team in the brief history of Olympic beach volleyball, which debuted in 1996, Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor are guaranteed at least a silver medal.
No surprise, Wednesday's all-American championship match in London has spiked concerns over objectification and the way certain sports and athletes are photographed.
But salaciousness misses the mark -- Olympic competitors represent some of the best human body specimens in the world, and we should be looking at them. Closely. In awe. These athletes break records, set bars, reach milestones, and advance our collective ability. Their bodies are special, and serve as regularly re-written benchmarks of human physical achievment. In stretchy clothes.