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USA Volleyball

Kessy, Ross Win FIVB World Championship

July 04, 2009, 2:54 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 4, 2009) – The USA Volleyball beach team of Jen Kessy and April Ross are the new women’s world champions after defeating Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca in the final at the SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway.

Top –seeded Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) beat the third-ranked Brazilians 2-0   (30-28, 23-21) in a 58-minute gold-medal match. Kessy and Ross will share a $60,000 prize for first place.

“We have worked very hard to achieve this title, but we also know that you need a little bit of luck to win any event you enter,” said Ross, who was named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the event.  “We beat a very good team today.  They compete very hard throughout every match they play.  We feel very proud to win this title on day that our country celebrates Independence Day.  Our hard work has paid really pay dividends today.”

“Just to win that match at any time is so amazing, and we won it in the World Championship match,” Kessy said. “This was our goal from the beginning of the season was to win World Champs. We didn’t make to the Olympics last year by a slim margin and this was our goal this year.”

After placing 37th together in their first SWATCH FIVB World Championships in 2007 in Gstaad, Switzerland, Kessy and Ross have become the second women’s team from the United States to win the world finals after two-time Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.) topped the podium in 2003 (Rio de Janeiro), 2005 (Berlin) and 2007 (Gstaad, Switzerland).

May-Treanor and Walsh have not played this summer. May-Treanor is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered while competing on Dancing with the Stars. Walsh recently had her first child.

Kessy and Ross made it to the final by defeating fifth-ranked Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly, 2-1 (28-26, 15-21, 15-9) in 73 minutes in Saturday’s semifinal.

In the all-Brazilian bronze medal match, second-seeded Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli scored a 2-0 (21-13, 21-16) win in 39 minutes over fifth-seeded Shelda and Ana Paula to share the $35,000 third-place prize.  Shelda and Ana Paula, the 2008 SWATCH FIVB World Tour champions, split $28,000 for fourth-place.

Read a profile of April Ross at http://usavolleyball.org/news/article/14004.

DALHAUSSER, ROGERS ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS

Second-seeded Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), the defending world champions (2007), gold medal winners at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and 2008 Stavanger world tour gold medal winners, advanced to Sunday’s men’s semifinals with a 2-0 (25-23, 21-14) win in 46 minutes over 15th-seeded Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira Collado of Spain.

“We didn't have a good start. I didn't feel certain until 19-14, 19-15,” Dalhausser said. “But they were really going for it on their serve.”

Dalhausser and Rogers will play the third-seeded German team of Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann in Sunday’s semifinal. The other semifinal will pit top-seeded Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Harley Marques against the sixth-seeded German pair of David Klemperer and Eric Koreng.

Alison and Harley scored a 2-1 (21-14, 35-37, 17-15) win in 89 minutes over 17th-seeded Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) of the United States.  Fuerbringer and Jennings finished their first world championship together tied for fifth.

“This was really high quality volleyball and epic, but I’m very disappointed even though it was a fabulous match,” Jennings said. “It was no doubt one of the best matches we've played. It would have been even more epic if we had won, though.”

Matches can be seen live at Universal Sports.

More information and complete results and photos are available at http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.

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