Bountiful native Jake Gibb said his beach volleyball loss on Monday wasn't a big deal. But Wednesday he admitted it did impact the way he and Sean Rosenthal played in their third pool play match on Wednesday.
"We just tried to keep our spirits up," Gibb said after the duo defeated Latvia's No. 16 ranked team Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins 21-10, 21-16 at Horse Guards Parade venue. "It's hard to swallow for two days, to be honest with you. It just made us hungry."
Gibb and Rosenthal came out with a dominating performance against the young Latvian team.
"What can I say? We lost," Samoilovs said. "They played really well, especially Sean Rosenthal. He was a superman on defense."
Gibb and Rosenthal jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the second set, where Rosenthal had four attacks in the run while Gibb had one. Latvia never got closer than three points, and then Gibb smashed the final ball into the open court to end the contest and ensure the Americans a place in Friday's elimination round.
Rosenthal said that while the men were confident they could advance out of pool play, the loss gave them a greater sense of urgency.
"We're feeling good. That was a big win for us," Rosenthal said. "Poland played great the other night. We didn't play our best game, but they played great so it made us not as good. It's hard to sit there for two days and think about a loss and try to fix it. Normally we get to get out there a few hours after."
The other U.S. men's squad, Phil Dalhausser of Florida and Todd Rogers of California, will finish pool play on Thursday against No. 14 Petr Benes and Premysl Kubala at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. MDT).
Teams will have to wait for the completion of pool play on Thursday to find out whom they will play in the next round. The first round of single-elimination play will begin on Friday.