Dominant American duo cruise in beach volleyball round-robin

BEIJING -- Kerri Walsh has her gold ring back on her hand and another golden prize in her sights.

The American beach volleyball player covered her wedding ring with a bandage on Tuesday, when she and Misty May-Treanor beat a pair of three-time Olympians from Cuba in straight sets to all but assure themselves of a spot in the medal round.

Walsh, who is married to fellow pro Casey Jennings, lost the ring on Sunday in the first game of the round-robin. It was dug up by a volunteer after venue officials combed the sand with metal detectors and security wands.

"I didn't know I was superstitious about it until I lost it," said Walsh, who had already called her husband and asked him to have another made so he can bring it to China when he comes out on Thursday.

Walsh and May-Treanor, the gold medalists in Athens, beat Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Tamara Larrea 21-15, 21-16 for their 103rd consecutive victory. The Cubans, ninth-place finishers in both Athens and Sydney, fell to 1-1.

Walsh met with the volunteer who recovered the ring on Monday, giving him some pins as a thank-you gift. She said she had not taken the ring off since she got it, but it flew off when she went up for a block on a rainy and sweaty night.

"I was upset because I didn't get the block, and then I was upset because I lost my ring," she said.

She looked around for a few seconds, but could not delay the match to get down in the sand to try to find it.

May-Treanor, who is married to Florida Marlins catcher Matt Treanor, does not wear a ring when she plays. Her father, Bob May, a member of the 1968 U.S. national indoor volleyball team, told her when she was growing up that long nails and jewelry were out.