Ross/Klineman Battle to Win Gstaad Five-Star

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | July 14, 2019, 4:13 p.m. (ET)

April Ross and Alix Klineman

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 14, 2010) – April Ross/Alix Klineman won the Gstaad Major FIVB World Tour five-star event on Sunday, beating Brazil’s Carolina Solberg and Maria Antonelli, 15-21, 21-17, 15-12.

It was the fourth match in the 2019 Swatch Major Gstaad that Ross/Klineman dropped the first set.

The Gstaad victory was a measure of redemption for Ross/Kllineman, who lost last Sunday in the gold medal match of the FIVB World Championships in Hamburg.

“We had a terrible start to this tournament and a devastating loss last week and so to bounce back like this and fight as hard as we could with some slow starts to matches, like in the final, I’m really proud of how we stayed together and kept our attitudes positive,” said Ross, who collected her second cowbell in the famed tournament in the Alps. “That was huge. I really feel like our communication helped win that match.”

It was the third FIVB World Tour victory for Ross and Klineman during the 2019 season to go with Itapema, Brazil and Yangzhou, China. They earned $40,000 and scooped up 1,200 Olympic qualifying points.

Ross captured a silver medal with Kerri Walsh Jennings in 2016.

The match was the 100th gold-medal showdown between the United States and Brazil on the FIVB World Tour. The United States now holds a 55-45 advantage in those showdowns.

In the semifinals, Ross/Klineman fought back from 11-18 in the first set to beat Switzerland’s Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli, 22-20, 21-17.

“That’s kind of the story of the tournament,” Klineman said. “I feel like we for whatever reason find ourselves in some tough spots and we just keep believing and keep fighting and learning about the game. That’s what really prevailed.”

“It’s funny because it only takes one bad match for us to think were terrible volleyball players,” Ross said, laughing. “When we are playing good, it doesn’t even need to be perfect volleyball, we can still beat almost anybody. That’s a lesson we’re trying to learn.”