Kessy, Ross to Play Brazilians for Gold Medal

May 30, 2009, 9:26 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone:  719-228-6800  

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 30, 2009) – The USA Volleyball beach team of Jen Kessy and April Ross has advanced to the gold medal match at the US$190,000 Seoul Open.

For the 75th-time in the history of the women’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour, teams from Brazil and the United States will compete for an international beach volleyball gold medal as top-ranked Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) will play Brazil’s fourth-seeded Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli on Sunday.

The United States has won 43 of the gold medal meetings with the Brazilians, who captured the last finale between the two countries when Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca defeated Kessy and Ross in April in Brasília.

Kessy and Ross faced Talita and Antonelli in Saturday’s quarterfinals and fell 1-2 (20-22, 21-18, 13-15) in 62 minutes in the first meeting of the two teams this season.

“We look forward to playing Talita and Maria again,’’ Kessy said in an FIVB release. “Don’t ask us now what we will do different Sunday. It has been a long day and we had to play four matches against four very strong teams today. We look forward to getting back to the hotel and then we’ll start thinking about our match with the Brazilians tomorrow.”

Kessy and Ross opened play Saturday with a 2-1 (17-21, 22-20, 15-13) victory in 61 minutes over eighth-seeded Ying Huang and Xi Zhang of China before the loss to Talita and Antonelli dropped them into the elimination bracket. The U.S. team advanced to their fifth-straight SWATCH FIVB World Tour semifinal by posting a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) victory in 40 minutes over the third-seeded Salgado sisters (Carolina and Maria Clara) of Brazil.

In the semifinals, Kessy and Ross beat Brazil’s seventh-seeded Renata Martins Ribeiro and Vanilda dos Santos Leão

The third annual Seoul Open, which had a day off Friday due to the State Funeral of the former Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, will conclude with Sunday’s medal matches where the gold medal winners will share the $30,000 first-place prize for the fourth women’s event on the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar.

For more information, visit the FIVB beach volleyball site at