April Ross and Alix Klineman are two wins away from their first Olympic gold medal.
The United States’ top women’s beach volleyball pair won a tight battle against Germany’s Maggie Kozuch and reigning Olympic gold medalist Laura Ludwig in the quarterfinals on Monday night.
The Americans defeated the Germans in straight sets, 21-19, 21-19, to advance to the semifinals.
They will face Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for a spot in the gold medal match.
Get a weekly recap of the latest San Francisco Bay Area housing news. Sign up for NBC Bay Area’s Housing Deconstructed newsletter.
Ross and Klineman are a perfect 5-0 in Tokyo, having dropped just one set total.
Both sets between the U.S. and Germany were back-and-forth affairs that featured several lead changes, but the Americans proved to be the better side in the late stages.
With the first set locked up at 19-19, Ludwig committed a service error to give the Americans match point. Ross then won the next point to put the set away.
The Germans suffered defeat in a similar fashion in the second set, as this time it was Kozuch who committed a service error to put the Americans at match point, 20-18. After Ludwig brought the Germans back within one point, Ross came up clutch once again.
Team USA's semifinal opponents, Heidrich and Verge-Depre, went 2-1 in the preliminary round and won their quarterfinal match against Brazil's Ana Patricia Silva Ramos and Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbossa Silva in three sets.