Americans Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs skipped Friday night's Opening Ceremonies to get some extra rest. They found out Saturday night what a smart decision that was.
McPeak and Youngs, seeded No. 4, cruised past 21st-seeded Norwegians Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide, 21-14, 21-14, under the lights at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Center.
McPeak and Youngs watched their opponents on television, marching in the parade of nations.
"I was like, 'All right, they're going to have tired legs tomorrow,' " said McPeak, the sport's all-time winningest female player. "It was nice to get a good night's sleep while everybody else was out until 3 a.m."
Glesnes and Maaseide won the first two points, then lost the next five and never led again.
"Everything we tried to do, they had an answer," Glesnes said.
Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard, the top U.S. men's team, were not nearly as sharp in a 21-16, 21-14 loss to 17th-seeded Australians Julien Prosser and Mark Williams in the last match of the day.
The Americans fell behind 6-2 and never led. Blanton faulted on six serves, while the 6-foot-8 Nygaard was out of position on numerous block attempts. "We didn't play well enough to win and they did," Nygaard said. "We put no pressure on them and they did whatever they wanted."
-- From News Services