Walsh, Ross Take Santa Barbara Title

Sept. 29, 2013, 10 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 29, 2013) – Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross got their new beach volleyball partnership off to a good start on Sunday as they won the 2013 AVP Tour event in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Kerri Walsh receives the ball as April Ross hurries to make a play
  Kerri Walsh Jennings receives the ball as April Ross runs to make
  a play during the FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam.

Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) and Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) went 5-0 in the winners’ bracket and did not lose a set. In Sunday’s final, they defeated Jennifer Fopma (Bellflower, Calif.) and Brooke Sweat (Fort Myers, Fla.), 21-18, 21-10.

Walsh Jennings and Ross played together earlier this year at the FIVB World Tour event in Gstaad, Switzerland, where they finished ninth. Both players have said that starting with Santa Barbara, they will play the rest of the 2013 season together. They are signed up as a team for the final two FIVB Grand Slam events in Sao Paolo, Brazil and Xiamen, China.

In the Santa Barbara semifinals, Walsh Jennings and Ross beat Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Brittany Hochevar (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), 21-13, 21-19. Fopma and Sweat topped Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.), 21-15, 21-17.

On the men’s side, Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.) won their fourth straight AVP Tour event with a 21-19, 21-19 win in the finals over Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii) and John Hyden (Pensacola, Fla.).

Gibb and Patterson had to come back from a quarterfinal loss to Bourne and Hyden (19-21, 21-16, 15-12). In the consolation bracket, they defeated Russ Marchewka (San Diego, Calif.) and Derek Olson (Eugene, Ore.) 21-14, 25-23 to advance to the semifinals.

In the semifinals, Gibb and Patterson defeated Adrian Carambula (Miami Beach, Fla.) and Stafford Slick (Andover, Minn.), 21-18, 22-20. Bourne and Hyden, who made it to the semis undefeated, beat Billy Allen (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Braidy Halverson (Grass Valley, Calif.), 21-11, 21-10.

On Thursday (Sept. 26), Gibb and Patterson played the rained-out final of the St. Petersburg, Fla., event and defeated Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 22-20, 21-19.

The final event on the 2013 AVP Tour will be the championships on Oct. 18-20 in Huntington Beach, Calif.