Two-time Olympic beach volleyball medalist April Ross was on top of her game Sunday.
Ross had 22 kills and three aces. She combined with Alix Klineman to win the women’s title at the AVP Championships in Chicago. They defeated top-seeded Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, 25-23, 21-16, in the final.
It was the third AVP title this year for Klineman and Ross.
This was the first season for both partnerships and they have dominated play on the AVP Tour, winning five of the eight tournaments between them. Both teams have also earned spots in the AVP Hawaii Invitational, which is scheduled for Sept. 14-16 in Waikiki.
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April Ross had 14 kills and two aces in the first set when she and Klineman outdueled Hughes and Summer Ross for a 25-23 win. The match was tied at 21, 22 and 23 before Klineman and Ross won it with two straight points. Summer Ross had 13 kills in that set and 19 in the match.
Klineman and Ross took charge in the second set, combining a strong defense to go with their effective hitting.
“It finally started to work,” April Ross said of the defensive moves by she and Klineman. “It felt so good.”
Klineman and Ross, the No. 3 seed, reached the championship match with a semifinals victory over second-seeded Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar, 21-19, 22-20.
Ross and Klineman also defeated Claes and Hochevar to win the AVP Manhattan Beach Open in August.
Ross won Olympic silver in 2012 and bronze in 2016 with Jen Kessy and Kerri Walsh Jennings, respectively. Last year she teamed up with Lauren Fendrick for silver at the world championships.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.