Akers, Turner to Play Kessy, Ross in Semis

Oct. 31, 2009, 6:23 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. (Oct. 31, 2009) – The U.S. beach volleyball team of Jen Kessy and April Ross will face their U.S. teammates Angie Akers and Tyra Turner in the semifinals of the Sanya Open, part of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour, on Sunday in China.

Eleventh-ranked Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland will play Italy’s Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti, seeded 15th, in Sunday’s other semifinal. The bronze and gold medal matches will also be played Sunday.

The third-ranked Akers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) outlasted second-seeded seeded Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig of Germany for a 21-14, 13-21, 19-17 victory in 51 minutes on Saturday.

Turner placed third at the 2008 Sanya Open with Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) as Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) captured the event title by defeating Ying Huang and Xi Zhang of China 21-17, 23-21 in the 44-minute finale. Turner and Branagh scored a 19-21, 21-16, 15-9 win in 49 minutes over Jie Wang and Man Zuo of China in the bronze medal match.

Kessy and Ross have won all five SWATCH FIVB World Tour matches this season over Turner and Akers.  Two of Kessy and Ross’ wins were in the last international event in Spain where the second victory was in the Barcelona bronze medal match 21-13, 21-19 in 43 minutes.  Including a pair of wins on AVP Tour, Kessy and Ross are 7-0 against Akers and Turner.