Olympic Beach Preview for Aug. 7: Kessy and Ross

Aug. 06, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Olympic Beach Volleyball Semifinals
No. 4 Jennifer Kessy/April Ross (USA) vs.
No. 1 Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva (BRA)
Date: Aug. 7, 2012 at Horse Guards Parade
Time: 9 p.m. local (1 p.m. PT)

FIVB 2012 Olympic Beach Volleyball Media Guide

Match Preview

  • Kessy is 6-foot-0 and 35 years old; Ross is 6-1 and 30 years old
  • França is 5-foot-9 and 30 years old; Silva is 5-10 and 29 years old
  • Kessy and Ross advanced to the semifinals by going 3-0 in pool play (6-2 in sets). In the first round, Kessy and Ross defeated No. 11 Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland, 21-15, 21-19 in 42 minutes. In the quarterfinals, they took a 25-23, 21-18 victory in 49 minutes over Czech Republic’s No. 10 Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova.
  • Kessy and Ross are second among all women’s beach volleyball teams competing in the Olympic Games in attacks with 149 on 254 attempts for a .59 kill percent. Kessy and Ross are second in aces with 19 (1.6 per set). Kessy and Ross are eighth in digs with 84 (7 per set).
  • In individual statistics, Ross second among all Olympic players in attacks with 78 on 126 attempts for a .62 kill percent. Ross is fifth among all Olympic players in scoring with 95 points on 78 kills, five blocks and 12 aces. Kessy is ninth with 85 points on 71 attacks, seven blocks and seven aces. Ross is fifth in aces with 12 (1.0 per set) and has clocked the third fastest serve at 81 kilometers (50 miles) per hour.
  • Kessy and Ross are 4-19 against Franca and Silva lifetime. They have only played once this season, with Franca and Silva winning at the Shanghai Grand Slam in May, 21-17, 16-21, 18-16 in 53 minutes. 
  • The winner of the semifinal match will play the winner of Tuesday’s other semifinal between the United States’ No. 3 Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) and China’s No. 2 Chen Xue and Xi Zhang in the gold medal match on Wednesday (July 8) at 9 p.m. local time (1 p.m. PT). The losers will play for the bronze medal on Wednesday at 7 p.m. local time (11 a.m. PT).
  • França and Silva advanced to the semifinals by going 3-0 in pool play (6-0 in sets). In the first round of single elimination, the Brazilians beat the Netherlands’ No. 20 Madelein Meppelink  and Sophie van Gestel, 21-10, 21-17 (:35). In the quarterfinals, the top seeds beat No. 8 Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig of Germany, 21-10, 21-19 (:41).
  • In the team statistics, França and Silva are ranked seventh in attacks (111 on 210 attempts), seventh in blocks (13) and fourth in digs (103 on 177 attempts)

Kessy and Ross Team Fast Facts

  • Joined forces in 2007
  • Defeated Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the winner’s bracket at Hermosa Beach marking the third time that May-Treanor and Walsh fell before the semifinals on the AVP tour
  • Ross ended their debut season ranked in the AVP top-to in three categories: aces per game ( ranked second with .99),  kills (ranked sixth with 7.01) and hitting percentage (ranked seventh with .440)
  • Became the lowest-seeded team to win an FIVB even in 2007 at the Stavanger Grand Slam
  • In 2008, advanced to the semifinals in all but one AVP event and ended the season as the third-ranked team on tour
  • Just missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games after finishing seventh in world rankings but only third among U.S. women’s teams
  • Won the FIVB World Championships in Stavanger in 2009 marking the fourth-straight time a U.S. women’s team won the event
  • During 2009 medaled nine times out of 12 events
  • Went on a 21-event streak of AVP championship appearances ending with a third-place finish in Santa Barbara in 2010
  • Extended their FIVB podium-appearance streak to eight after competing for a medal in 2010 season’s first five FIVB events
  • From October 2008 through the 2010 Moscow Grand Slam, the duo competed for a medal in 17 of their 20 FIVB events
  • In 2009, the duo became the sixth team worldwide to amass over one million dollars in career earnings together

Kessy Personal

  • 35 years old and born in Orange, Calif. San Luis Obispo is her hometown
  • 6-foot-0
  • Graduated from the  University of Southern California

Kessy Career

  • Played for USC all four years of college
  • All-PAC 10 selection in 1995-1998
  • Earned All-District honors in 1997
  • Earned All-American honors in 1998
  • Member of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team
  • In 2002, played indoor professionally for the Chicago Thunder
  • In 2003, played professionally in Puerto Rico
  • Made her pro beach debut in 2000 and played in five domestic events along with three international events
  • Played with Olympian Barbra Fontana in 2004 and Bronze Medalist and three-time Olympian Holly McPeak in 2005.
  • Tallied her first top-20 season (by points) in 2003
  •  Five fifth-place finishes in 2004 earned her a top-10 player ranking as well as FIVB Most Improved
  • Ranked second on the AVP Tour in 2005
  • Partnered with Ross for the first time in 2007
  • Ranked AVP’s top-11 for seven straight years from 2004-2010
  • Surpassed one million dollars in career earnings at Gstaad in 2010, making her the eight woman and sixth American to do so
  • AVP Most Improved Player in 2004

To view Jennifer Kessy's full bio, click here
To view Jennifer Kessy's complete statistics, click here

Ross Personal

  • Born in Costa Mesa, Calif.; 30 years old
  • 6-foot-1
  • Graduated from the University of Southern California

Ross Career

  • Started every match during her career at USC
  • Led her team in kills and points each year at USC
  • Led team in digs till the libero position was installed in 2002
  • Named National Freshman of the year in 2000
  • Named First Team All-PAC 10 each of her four season
  • Second Team AVCA All-American in 2000
  • First Team AVCA All-American in 2002 and 2003
  • Conference Player of the Year in 2003 (senior year)
  • Academic All-PAC 10 honors twice during her career
  • Kicked off her pro beach career in 2006 and earned AVP Rookie of the Year
  • Ranked ninth on the tour and played with Olympian Barbara Fontana
  • Partnered with Jennifer Kessy in 2007
  • Became first women to start her pro beach career with three FIVB wins before winning domestically
  • Tallied the FIVB’s second-fasted recorded serve in 2008 at 85.7 km/hr in Berlin
  • First U.S. women to ever receive FIVB Rookie of the Year
  • In 2007, won AVP Most Improved Player
  • In 2009 and 2011, named FIVB Best Hitter
  • Named FIVB Best Offensive Player in 2009
  • Named FIVB Best Server in 2011

To view April Ross's full bio, click here
To view April Ross' complete statistics, click here