B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 16, 2008) – The top-seeded U.S. beach volleyball team of Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) beat China’s 15th-seeded Huang Ying and Zhang Xi, 21-17, 23-21, in 44 minutes in Sunday’s final to win back-to back SWATCH FIVB World Tour women’s gold medal at the US$350,000 tournament in Sanya, China. The event was the final tournament of the 2008 season.
With their third SWATCH FIVB World Tour title following the success in the Thailand Phuket Open last week, Ross and Boss finished second overall on the 2008 points behind Brazilians Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly. It’s the highest finish by an American team since 2003 when Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.) placed second behind Sandra Pires and Ana Paula.
“Oh, it’s a surprise. We didn’t expect to finish second because we did not look at it,” Boss told the FIVB. “We are very happy to hear that and hopefully we will play better the next season.”
Sunday’s gold medal also marked the 78th title for a U.S. team, which improved 8-1 in SWATCH FIVB World Tour final matches against China.
The second-seeded U.S. team of Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) finished with a bronze medal after defeating ninth-seeded Wang Jie and Zuo Man of China.
Coming off Friday’s upset loss to Wang and Zuo, Ross and Boss bounced back to win three elimination matches in a row on Saturday, including a 22-20, 22-20 defeat of compatriots Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Ashley Ivy (Arlington, Texas), who finished seventh.
In Sunday’s semifinals Boss and Ross got a little revenge with a hard-fought 23-25, 21-15, 15-11 victory over Wang and Zuo.
“We had wonderful time here. It’s a hard tournament for us and we played a lot of matches to three sets.” Boss said.
Huang and Zhang reached the finals with a 21-14, 22-20 semifinal victory over Branagh and Turner.
Complete results and photos are available on the FIVB beach web site at www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.