COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 7, 2018) – The new U.S. beach volleyball team of April Ross and Alix Klineman got their international season off to a strong start as they won gold at the DELA Beach Open, a four-star FIVB World Tour event, on Sunday in The Hague, Netherlands.
Ross and Klineman beat Brazil’s Carolina Solberg Salgado and Maria Antonelli in the final, 21-12, 21-15.
“We went out and honestly played as hard as we could,” Ross told the FIVB. “It’s amazing. We are so stoked.”
The new U.S. team went 10-0 in the tournament, having to win two country quota matches and two qualifiers before starting pool play. The only set they lost was to U.S. teammates Brittany Hochevar and Emily Day in a country quota match.
“I’m still in shock, but we tried to play this game as we would play any other game,” Klineman said. “We prepared the same way and we tried to play the same way and it was enough in the end.”
Jennifer Kessy served as Ross and Klineman's coach. She won the 2012 Olympic silver medal with Ross, but this was the first time she had served as a coach at the international level.
"We're all on the same page," Ross said. "We all have the same mentality, the same culture, the same values. That matters when you're on the court. We play just as hard for each other as we do for ourselves.
"It's just a really, really special feeling out there."
DELA Beach Open Results
1. April Ross and Alix Klineman (Coach Jen Kessy)
9T. Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes (Coach Jose Loiola)
17T. Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross (Coach Jackson Metichecchia)
25T. Lauren Fendrick and Karissa Cook (Coach Andrew Fuller)
CQ. Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar
CQ. Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen
9T. Billy Allen and Ryan Doherty (Coach Stephen Devlin)
17T. Bill Kolinske and Miles Evans
17T. Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick
Q2. Trevor Crabb and Sean Rosenthal
Q1. Reid Priddy and Jeremy Casebeer
Karen Liu and Jennifer Watters