USA (Klineman/Ross) def. SUI (Verge-Depre, A./Heidrich)


The U.S.' second-seeded April Ross and Alix Klineman are now guaranteed a beach volleyball medal.

Only one question remains: Will it be gold or silver, as Ross won at the London 2012 Games (alongside Jennifer Kessy)?

The second-seeded Americans jumped to an early lead over their 12th-seeded Swiss opponents, Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre. Ross and Klineman -- dubbed "The A-Team" -- were up 3-0 before the Swiss got on the scoreboard, and ultimately closed the set by a nine-point margin.

Heidrich and Verge-Depre didn't perform much better in the second set. They again trailed from the beginning, and were behind as many as six points before a timeout at 13-8. Returning to the sand, the Americans remained relentless under brutally hot conditions. They closed with a ten-point lead.

Team USA swept the Swiss: 21-12, 21-11.

"We were expecting a battle," Klineman said in a post-match interview. "Sometimes things just turn out a little better than you expect."

Klineman, making her first Olympic appearance at 31 years old, was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, California. The 39-year-old Ross, the London silver medalist and Rio bronze medalist, now calls Costa Mesa, California home; she's sought an Olympic gold medal for nearly a decade.

Can these Golden State warriors win once more, on behalf of the entire United States?

A former member of a different A-Team, Mr. T, chimed in on the pair's success via Twitter earlier this week:

The U.S. has won a beach volleyball medal at every Olympics since the sport was first contested in 1996.

Ross and Klineman will face either Australia's Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy or Latvia's Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka in the gold medal match, Thursday at 10:30pm ET.