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ThoamasCoex, AFP, Getty Images
Jake Gibb, left and Sean Rosenthal dive to return the ball to Brazil's team in their men's quarterfinal beach volleyball match.

BEIJING — Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal's magic run through the Beijing Olympics beach volleyball competition ended Monday night with a two-set quarterfinals defeat at the hands of the defending Games champions.

The Gibb-Rosenthal side — the second-ranked pair from the United States that was seeded ninth in the Beijing tournament — fell to Brazil's Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego 21-18, 21-16 at Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground.

It was the first loss suffered by Gibb and Rosenthal in Beijing, but it came at the wrong time — the medal-round quarterfinals — where winners advance to the semis and the losers drop out.

Gibb said the two — who have only been playing together for a couple of years — will use their Olympics debut as a foundation for the future.

"Sean and I am going to take positives away from this Olympic experience," said the Bountiful native. "We had a great run and played well, but Ricardo and Emanuel showed why they're Olympic champions."

It was evident early in the first set and then throughout the match that the Ricardo-Emanuel side — yes, they're Brazilians and, like their soccer countrymen, go by their first names rather than their last — was going to match the Americans and snuff out any momentum the U.S. two would try to develop.

The U.S. side took an early lead in the opening points of the first set, the last time at 7-5 before Ricardo-Emanuel ripped off three straight points to take an 8-7 advantage. Gibb-Rosenthal would never lead again.

The Brazilians' margin was 17-13 before a pair of back-to-back blocks by Gibb helped bring to deficit to just 17-16. The Americans couldn't pull even the rest of the way and faltered 21-19.

The second set wasn't any closer, with the U.S. duo leading in the first couple of points before Brazil edged out, going up by three at 16-13 en route to the five-point victory.

Gibb and Rosenthal came into the match with a series edge against Ricardo-Emanuel, having beaten them four times in six previous meetings.


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