Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.
Birth Year: 1982
Resides: Newport Beach, Calif.
Current coach: Jeff Conover
Olympic History: 2012 Women’s Beach Volleyball (Silver Medal)
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INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: 2012 – Finished season in fourth place on the FIVB World Tour. Team earnings for Ross and Kessy were $138,200...Finished season with first international victory of the year at the Bansaen Thailand Open. Ross and Kessy won $15,000 for the victory... One week after winning the Olympic silver medal, Ross and Jennifer Kessy finished fifth at the FIVB Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland… Ross and partner Kessy won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in London, losing to U.S. compatriots Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the gold medal match, 21-16, 21-16 (8/8). Ross and Kessy advanced to the gold medal match by upsetting top-seeded Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva in the semifinals, 15-21, 21-19, 15-12. Ross and Kessy went 3-0 in pool play and won both their first- and second-round, single-elimination matches in straight sets. As a team, Ross and Kessy finished second among all women’s beach teams at the Olympics in aces with 23 on 315 attempts in seven matches (17 sets). They finished second in attacks with 209 kills on 359 attempts for a success percentage of .58. Ross finished tied for second among all players in scoring with 125 points on 106 kills, five blocks and 14 aces. Ross led all players in attacks with 106 kills on 171 attempts for a success percentage of .62. Ross was second among all players in aces with 14 on 175 attempts. She was clocked with the fastest serve of the Olympic tournament at 81 km per hour… Ross and Kessy won their first medal of the season prior to the Olympic Games at the Rome Grand Slam, finishing third… The team opened the season with a 9th-place finish in the Brasilia Open... Ross and Kessy secured their slot on the U.S. Olympic Team with a fifth-place finish at the Beijing Grand Slam (5/7-12). With the finish, they had enough points to beat Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Niles for the second slot... Ross and Kessy placed fifth in four other FIVB tournaments (Shanghai, Moscow, Gstaad and Berlin). 2011 – In the FIVB season opener in Brasilia, Ross and Jen Kessy overcame a first-round loss to win a bronze medal, while in Shanghai the duo rebounded from a second-round loss to win a silver medal... They claimed two more bronze medals at Myslowice Open and the Beijing Grand Slam before taking fifth at the World Championship...the duo earned their only first-place finish of the year at Stravanger, but added two more silver medals at the Mazuri Open and the Phuket Thailand Open before the season ended. 2010 – Ross and Jennifer Kessy competed in 15 FIVB World Tour events in 2010, winning two (Shanghai, China and the Grand Slam in Rome, Italy) and capturing one second place (the Grand Slam in Moscow, Russia) and two thirds (Seoul, Korea and Sanya, China)... Ross was named the Most Outstanding Player of the event in Rome. She also had the fastest serve at the events in Shanghai (82.2 km/h) and Rome (80.1 km/h)... The team had two fourth-place finishes and three fifths. They won a total of $106,675. 2009 – Ross and Jennifer Kessy won the FIVB World Championship in Stavanger, Norway (6/25-7/4). The pair went 8-0 and lost only two sets, defeating Brazil's Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca in the final. Ross was named the event's MVP. She led all players in aces with an average of 1.44 per set... Ross and Kessy also won SWATCH FIVB World Tour events in Marseille, France and Phuket, Thailand. The team had four second-place finishes and two thirds and finished the season in third place for World Tour ranking points. As a team they earned $139,100. 2008 – Ross and Jennifer Kessy competed in 12 international events, winning $87,300 and just missing a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team as Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs finished ahead of them. Ross and Kessy finished the 2008 FIVB Beach World Tour in impressive fashion, winning the season's final two events – (Thailand and China) and finishing second in Dubai... In Dubai (Oct. 5-10), the pair reached the finals before falling to fellow Americans Kerri Walsh and Nicole Branagh... The pair went a perfect 6-0 in Thailand (Nov. 4-9) to capture the gold medal, this time defeating Branagh and partner Tyra Turner in the final. April was named the Most Outstanding Player... The squad got over a third-round loss in China (Nov. 11-16) to come all the way back and reach the finals. Ross and Kessy swept China's Ying Huang and Zhang Xi for their second straight gold. The pair finished the season with $87,300 in international earnings. In Berlin, April recorded the FIVB's second fastest serve in 2008 (85.7 km/hr). 2007 – Ross and Kessy competed in eight FIVB international tournaments. They won the event in Stavanger, Norway, becoming the lowest seeded team (29th) ever to win an FIVB event. They fought through three rounds of qualifying and lost their first two pool play matches. They also finished second once and totaled $53,050. 2006 – Played in two FIVB World Tour events. Playing with Barbra Fontana in Mexico, April lost in the country qualifier to Dianne DeNecochea and Holly McPeak. Playing in Thailand with Nancy Mason, she finished 17th, earning $1,500.
DOMESTIC HIGHLIGHTS: 2012 – Following the Olympic Games, Ross and Kessy won the AVP events in Cincinnati and Santa Barbara, Calif., winning $33,750... Ross and Kessy also won the NVL events in Baltimore and Las Vegas. 2011 – Ross and Kessy took second place at the VISA FIVB Beach Volleyball International and third at the U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball...Earned another third-place finish at the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series to end the season. 2010 – Ross and Kessy opened the season with a third-place finish in Fort Lauderdale and a fifth in Santa Barbara before winning its next four AVP Tour stops before the AVP ceased operations on Aug. 13. They won $47,750… The pair finished the season with a victory at the Cincinnati Pro Beach Volleyball Players Championship on Sept. 3-5 in Cincinnati, Ohio, defeating Rachel Scott and Elaine Youngs in the final and winning $5,000. 2009 – Ross and Kessy won their first AVP title in Houston (5/15-17) and went on to win three more. They also had four second-place finishes and two thirds, winning a total of $117,850… In Chicago, April and Jen became just the sixth team worldwide to surpass the $1 million mark in career earnings as a partnership... April also played in five AVP Hot Winter Nights events, winning two and placing second in two. 2008 – Ross and Kessy played in 13 AVP summer events and took five second-place finishes and six thirds. They won a total of $125,250… Ross played in six AVP Hot Winter Nights events, winning four and finishing third twice. 2007 – Playing for the first time as a team, Ross and Kessy opened the season with a second-place finish in Miami. They played in 16 summer AVP events, taking second two times and third four times. In Hermosa Beach, they defeated Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the winners’ bracket. They won a total of $73,525. 2006 – Playing with Keao Burdine, Ross played in 13 AVP events, with their best finish two ninth places. Combined, they won $6,287.50.
COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS: Left USC as one of the best all-around players in program history... Named the 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year (her senior season), earned four All-America selections, including first team accolades in 2002 and 2003 and was USC's first-ever National Freshman of the Year when she earned the Volleyball magazine accolades in 2000 (in addition to Pac-10 Freshman of the Year)... In 2000 and 2002, Was named the NCAA Regional MVP and was selected to NCAA Championship All-Tournament teams in 2002 and 2003… Led the team in kills, kills per game and points in each of her four seasons... Led the team in digs and digs per game prior to the introduction of the libero position in 2002... In four years she started every single match... Played all but three single sets... As a senior, was the team co-captain and go-to player. Led USC to the 2003 NCAA Championship... Started in all 35 matches and led the team in kills, service aces and points... Won the 2003-04 Honda volleyball award.
OTHER VOLLEYBALL HIGHLIGHTS: Ross attended Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, Calif. ... Competed in indoor volleyball (four years), basketball (three years) and track and field (four years)... Was the 1999 Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player of the Year, a "Fab 50" selection and was also an honor roll student all four years... Was a member of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team. She was on the USA A2 Women's National Phase 1 Team in 2002, and the Women's National Team in 2003
PERSONAL: Born April E. Ross in 1982 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Father's name is Glen. Ross's mother, Margie, died in 2001... Stepmother's name is Lynda. Has one sister, Amy, three step-brothers - Tommy, Jimmy and Weston - and one step-sister - Mindy... Ross married fellow beach volleyball player Brad Keenan in November, 2010... Graduated from USC in 2005 with a degree in international marketing... Enjoys reading, shopping, miniature golf, yoga and camping... Musically, she likes everything from Akon to the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Her role model is her mother for the strength she exhibited throughout her life.
PARTNERS: 2012 – Jennifer Kessy 2011 – Jennifer Kessy 2010 – Jennifer Kessy. 2009 – Jennifer Kessy. 2008 – Jennifer Kessy. 2007 – Jennifer Kessy. 2006 – Keao Burdine.
HONORS: 2009 - USA Volleyball Female Beach Player of the Year, USA Volleyball Beach Team of the Year (with Jen Kessy), FIVB Best Offensive Player, FIVB Best Hitter. 2007 – AVP Most Improved Player; FIVB Rookie of the Year. 2006 – AVP Rookie of the Year.
Updated October 2012