Ross, Kessy Advance in World Series Cup

July 27, 2013, 8:30 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail:
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LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 27, 2013) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy defeated compatriots Kerri Walsh Jennings and Whitney Pavlik on Saturday and advanced to the final of the World Series Cup, part of the World Series of Beach Volleyball, in Long Beach, Calif.

April Ross and Jennifer Kessy embrace during their World Series Cup match
 April Ross and Jennifer Kessy embrace during their
 World Series Cup match.

Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kessy (San Clemente, Calif.) came back from a 9-2 deficit in the third set and beat Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) and Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.), 18-21, 21-17, 16-14.  Ross and Kessy will play Brazil’s Taiana Lima and Talita Da Rocha Antunes in Sunday’s final at 1:30 p.m. PT.

After losing the first set, Ross and Kessy had a strong second set and led by as many as six points before winning 21-17. In the third set, Walsh Jennings and Pavlik jumped out to a 9-2 lead before Kessy and Ross posted their comeback, using a 9-2 run to tie the score at 11-11. They also fought off match point at 14-13 with three straight kills from Ross to take the victory.

“I told Jen afterward that that’s why I love playing with her,” Ross said. “I know that we can be down 9-2 and we still have so much fight, I don’t doubt that we can come back. It’s just a matter of calming down and figuring out what the right thing to do is.”

Kessy said she and Ross wanted to take advantage of the fact that Walsh Jennings and Pavlik were a new team playing their first match together.

“We wanted to serve a lot of middle since it’s a new team,” Kessy said. “I hadn’t seen Kerri play this year. It’s only her second time… and we wanted to hold on defense and make good runs.”

Walsh Jennings said the loss “lit a fire” in her.

“We should have beaten them. That’s terrible,” she said. “That loss is going to be with me for a little while; Every time I hit the gym.”

The men’s semifinals in the World Series Cup are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, with Latvia’s Alesandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins taking on Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt in the international semifinal.

The U.S. semifinal will feature Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) against Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.). The men’s final is scheduled to be played at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

For a World Series of Beach Volleyball TV schedule, click here.