The deficits were there, overwhelmingly and stunningly.
But Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings kept coming back and pulled out a 22-20, 22-20 victory in a beach volleyball semifinal Tuesday against China's Xue Chen and Zhang Xi at Horse Guards Parade.
The U.S. was down quickly in the first set, 13-7, but Walsh Jennings began to assert herself, piling up four blocks and an ace. One of her blocks put the U.S. ahead, 21-20, and then Zhang hit into the net to end the set.
The U.S. took a 12-8 lead in the second set but couldn't keep it, finding itself down, 20-19.
No problem for the two-time defending gold medalists. Walsh Jennings poked the ball down the line, then May-Treanor placed one in the back of the court for a 21-20 edge.