After a split with her former partner earlier this month, Kerri Walsh Jennings has found herself a new partner in 2008 Olympian Nicole Branagh. The pair is slated to play with each other this summer, after Walsh Jennings and April Ross called it quits.
Walsh Jennings is regarded as one of the most decorated beach volleyball players in the world, having won three Olympic gold medals with Misty May-Treanor, before a bronze medal finish with Ross at the 2016 Rio Games. Branagh made it to the quarterfinals round at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with Elaine Youngs.
Walsh Jennings and Branagh are both 38 years old and are entered to compete in the Croatia World Tour event at the end of June. The pair is familiar with each other, as they paired up briefly in 2010 when May-Treanor was uncertain about continuing her run to the 2012 London Games.
It is uncertain whether the duo will hope to play at the Vienna world championships. USA Volleyball announced on Wednesday that they have not received their application yet, which are due immediately after the Moscow tournament. If they do vie for the world championships, it is not known if their combined ranking points will earn them an outright spot at worlds. The pair could potentially earn a wild card draw. The entries for the event will be announced next month.
Walsh Jennings hopes to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – where she will be the oldest Olympic beach or indoor player.
Branagh took the past year off to have her second child and has only played in a handful of international events since 2012 – winning her last international competition in 2010 with Walsh Jennings.
Former partner, Ross, will be partnering with Lauren Fendrick for the time being – she has said that she will figure out her long-term partner plans at the conclusion of this season, as she looks to make a run for the Tokyo Games.