B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 6, 2011) – The second-seeded U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of Jen Kessy and April Ross won the silver medal on Sunday at the Phuket Thailand Open, the final event of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour.
In Sunday’s gold medal match on the tropical Karon Beach center court, China’s top-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang defeated Kessy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), 21-16, 21-14 in the 40-minute title match. Kessy and Ross finished with a 5-1 record and split $21,000 while China (6-0) won $30,000.
Kessy and Ross, the 2008 and 2009 Phuket champions, earned their 10th FIVB career silver medal in their 30th final four and won their 27 career podium finish.
In the first set, Xue and Zhang jumped out in front early and stayed there with seven point leads at 12-5 and 14-7 after the last tied score of 2-2. The U.S. team closed the gap to 19-16 but Zhang scored the last two points to close out the set.
A similar scenario played out in the deciding second set but Kessy and Ross kept it close longer with six ties early. At 6-6, China’s Xue served an ace and she and Zhang were off and running, building leads of 13-8, 17-11 and 18-12 before closing the match with strong kills and net play.
In the bronze medal match Sunday, Italy’s fifth-seeded Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti defeated Australia’s 19th-seeded Louise Bawden and Becchara Palmer in two-sets, 21-19, 21-15 in 47 minutes.
For more information and photos, click here.