COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - April Ross is now the six-time recipient of the USA Volleyball Female Beach Player of the Year award, the most for a female athlete.
For the fourth-consecutive year, April Ross is taking home USA Volleyball's highest accolade as the Beach Female Player of the Year.
"In 2016, April Ross was voted Best Server on the FIVB World Tour, won multiple medals on Tour, took home the bronze medal at the Olympic Games and led all players in digs at the Games. Therefore, USAV is honored to name her the 2016 Female Beach Player of the Year," said Sean Scott, USAV Beach National Programs Director.
This past season, Ross and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings earned five gold medals on the FIVB World Tour, including three straight that spanned trips to China, Cincinnati and Russia.
"I'm really honored to be named USA Volleyball's Player of the Year again this year, I can't believe it's my sixth time," Ross said. "The past season was definitely the best one of my career and I have to thank Kerri, Marcio (Sicoli), Jon (Daze), and Gustavo (Rocha) for that. I've learned so much from all of them the past four years, I'm very thankful I was given that opportunity. I love the USAV family so it makes this award all the more meaningful, so thanks to them as well!"
Ross was named the 2016 FIVB Best Server earlier this winter, her fourth for the accolade and eighth FIVB honor in her career. Serving wasn't the only thing that Ross was recognized for during this quad and her consecutive receipts of Player of the Year are reflective of her ability to drive her and her teammates to success.
"April Ross is a complete player," said Walsh Jennings. "She brings all of herself every time she steps on the court and she competes with all her might and she is MIGHTY!"
The two-time Olympic medalist sealed her name in the record books as one of the best in the game following a historic run up to and at the Rio Olympics. Overcoming obstacles that included an injured partner in 2015, the 2016 calendar saw the pair go 50-7 heading into the Games with a No. 3 seed. While there, the duo picked up their 150th team victory, during the second round.
"April demonstrated over this quad her emergence as one of the great players of all time in women's beach volleyball," said USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal. "Playing with a new partner and in a new role, playing under the much more media scrutiny of the new partnership, all are remarkable changes April had to go through.
"April is one of the most talented complete volleyball players that's ever represented the United States. Her career as a collegiate athlete, and what could have easily have been an internationally successful career indoors and the change she made to succeed on the beach. The fact that she has won two medals at the Olympic Games is a hall of fame career in and of itself," Beal continued. "April has also given back to the sport in many ways, not the least of which is her involvement on the USA Volleyball Board of Directors. She's passionate about the sport, she's passionate to work with USA Volleyball. She's an icon in my mind, in every sense of the word and very deserving of being recognized as the beach player of the year."
USA Volleyball Female Beach Player of the Year
2016: April Ross
2015: April Ross
2014: April Ross
2013: April Ross
2012: Misty May-Treanor
2011: April Ross
2010: Summer Ross
2009: April Ross
2008: Misty May-Treanor
2007: Misty May-Treanor