Women Fitness after a tough decision selected Jennifer Kessy & April Ross as the most stunning beach volleyball pair in the world.
Jennifer “Jen” Anne Kessy is an American professional beach volleyball player on the Nivea AVP Tour. Growing up in Southern California, Jen excelled at multiple sports. In high school, she was the MVP of the swim team her junior year and the Captain and MVP of the volleyball team her senior year, earning honors as an All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) second team. In 1994, she graduated from Dana Hills High School at Dana Point, California. Kessy continued her athletic excellence while attending the University of Southern California (USC). She was a member of the volleyball team for all four years (1995–1998) and was named All-American her senior year. Also, she was a member of the U.S. Junior National Team. Jen graduated from USC with a bachelor’s degree in history.Kessy was also a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Signing a six month contract for about $25,000, Jen played indoors professionally under coaches Gido Vermeulen (head, The Netherlands) and Christine Masel (assistant, DePaul University & University of Illinois) for the Chicago Thunder who finished runner-up (10-8) in the USPV in 2002. In November 2002 with the collapse of the USPV, she signed with Pinkin de Corozal at Humacao, Puerto Rico for the 2003 season and finished 6th overall for points in the LVSF.
Kessy competed with Olympian Barbra Fontana in 2004 and Olympic Bronze Medalist and three-time Olympian Holly McPeak in 2005.
Teaming up with fellow USC Trojan April Ross in 2007, the tandem has become one of the most successful duos in the world. On July 4, 2009, Kessy and Ross won the FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway defeating Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca.
As of April 2012, Kessy has ten AVP and nine FIVB 1st place finishes overall, as well as over $1,223,635 in total prize money.
In the spring of 2012, Jen signed as a CoverGirl for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
In the 2012 London Olympics Kessy and Ross won the silver medal, when they lost to their country’s Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the final by 16-21, 16-21.
- 1994 All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) second team (volleyball)
- 1998 All-American in volleyball
- 2004 AVP Most Improved Player
- 2008 AVP “Best of the Beach”
- 2009 AVP “Best of the Beach”
- 2009 USA Volleyball Beach Team of the Year (shared with April Ross).
- Kessy was the only player to be named AVP “Best of the Beach” for two consecutive years.
April Elizabeth Ross is an American professional beach volleyball player.Ross was born in Costa Mesa, California on June 20, 1982 to Glen and Margie Ross. She has a sister, Amy.
Ross grew up in Newport Beach, California where she attended Newport Harbor High School. At NHHS, in addition to lettering in track, she was a star indoor volleyball player, eventually becoming the nation’s top recruit for her graduating class. She won the Gatorade National Player of the Year award as a senior and was the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999. In her senior season, she notched 624 kills and 526 digs. She played club volleyball for Orange County Volleyball Club for five years. She also played on the U.S. Junior National Team. She is 6ft1in tall.
Ross attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, where in her freshman season she was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year as well as the National Freshman of the Year. In her freshman season in 2000, she received Pac-10 First Team honors as well as AVCA Second Team All-America honors. She helped USC to the NCAA Final Four.
As a sophomore in 2001, she was a second team All American and finished the season ranked fourth in Pac-10 in kills (3.98 kpg), sixth in points (4.52 ppg) and seventh in digs (3.04 dpg) and helped USC to the NCAA Regional Finals, when she suffered a sprained ankle during game two and was forced to leave the match.
In her final two seasons, she helped USC to back-to-back NCAA Titles. In 2002, she was named a First Team All-American and had 15 kills and 14 digs in the NCAA Championship win over Stanford, avenging their only loss of the season to the Cardinal. In 2003, she repeated as a First Team All-American, and helped USC to an undefeated season after defeating Florida in the NCAA championship match. Ross had 14 kills and 19 digs in the winning effort.
She finished her career among USC’s all-time career record-holders, ranking in the top 6 in eight statistical categories, including first in points (1,430) and points per game, second in service aces (161) and service aces per game (0.38), fourth in attacks (3,859), fifth in kills (1576), kills per game (3.73) and digs (1,296) and sixth in digs per game (3.06).
In 2008, with her beach partner Jennifer Kessy during the Swatch FIVB World Tour 2008, they finished in third place at the ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger, second place at the Dubai Open and first place at the Phuket Thailand Open, where she was named the Most Outstanding Player. On September 5, 2008, Ross and Boss upset the World No. 1 duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh at an AVP tournament in Santa Barbara, California. On July 4, 2009, Boss and Ross won the FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway defeating Brazilians Juliana and Larissa. As of April 2012, Ross has eight AVP and nine FIVB 1st place finishes overall, as well as over $937,813 in total prize money. In the 2012 London Olympics, Ross and Kessy won the silver medal when they lost to their country’s Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the final by 16-21, 16-21.
- 2007 – Most Improved Player
- 2007 – FIVB Top Rookie
- 2006 – AVP Rookie of the Year
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