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Mar 07 Kessy, Ross Claim Silver Medal in Brazil

April 25, 2009, 10:39 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone:  719-228-6800 
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 25, 2009) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of  Jen Kessy and April Ross fell to Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca in the gold medal match at the KIA Open in Brasilia, Brazil, part of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

It took fifth-ranked Juliana and Larissa 44 minutes to defeat top-seeded Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), 2-0 (21-18, 21-18).

The tournament was the first for Juliana since last August, when a knee injury forced her to pull out of the Olympic Games.

“The new Juliana looked like the old Juliana,” Ross told the FIVB. “She appeared to getting strong as the tournament progressed.  She displayed the same quickness and agility as we are accustomed to seeing from her.  She is back and will get strong as the season progresses.”

Kessy and Ross shared $21,000 for second-place. After placing second in Dubai last October, the Americans won the last two SWATCH FIVB World Tour stops in Thailand and China. Kessy and Ross are now 3-3 in SWATCH finals as they also lost to Juliana and Larissa in a 2007 Russian title match in St. Petersburg.

In Brazil, Kessy and Ross had defeated Juliana and Larissa in the fourth round, 2-1 (20-22, 21-14, 15-11) in 54 minutes.

In the bronze medal match, 11th-seeded Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig of Germany defeated the U.S. team of Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.), 2-0 (21-18, 32-30) in 55 minutes.

Goller and Ludwig, who dropped a 21-19 and 21-17 decision in 39 minutes to Branagh and Youngs Thursday afternoon in the winner’s bracket quarter-finals, also scored their first-ever win over the Americans.  Branagh and Youngs had defeated the German four-straight times, including an elimination win last May in Barcelona as the Americans went on to win their only SWATCH FIVB World Tour event together.

In the men’s bracket, top-seeded Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) will play for the bronze medal on Sunday after working their way through consolation to the semifinals, where they lost to Brazil’s fourth-ranked Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques 1-2 (21-13, 19-21, 11-15).

The U.S. pair will face eighth-seeded Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes of Brazil for the second time in the tournament. On Friday, Dalhausser and Rogers fell to the Brazilians, 0-2 (19-21, 16-21) in 53 minutes. Dalhausser and Rogers defeated Marcio and Fabio last August to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Prior to Saturday’s semifinal, Dalhausser and Rogers beat Brazil’s 28th-seeded Rodrigo Monteiro and Bernardo Romano, 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-9) in 63 minutes. Then they defeated Germany’s 10th-seeded Christoph Dieckmann and Kay Matysik, 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) in 49 minutes.

For more information, visit the FIVB beach volleyball site at www.fivb.org/en/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.

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