April Ross, who is the first U.S. woman to start her career with three FIVB victories, also has an Olympic silver medal and AVP Tour championships on her resume. Ross, who started playing professional beach volleyball in 2006, was named the AVP’s Rookie of the Year in 2007 as she and fellow Trojan, Kessy burst on to the scene. Ross was also named AVP’s Player of the Year in 2013 among other awards.
At the Stavanger Grand Slam, Ross and Kessy became the lowest seeded team (29th) to win an FIVB event. Ross became the first American woman to win the FIVB Rookie of the Year award and also recorded the FIVB’s second-fastest serve of the year at 85.7 km/hr. In a streak from October 2008 through the 2010 Moscow Grand Slam, Ross and Kessy played for a medal in 17 of their 20 FIVB events, winning seven golds, six silvers and three bronzes in that span including winning the 2009 World Championships in Stavanger. With their win at Chicago in 2009, the pair became just the sixth team worldwide to surpass the $1 million mark in career earnings as a partnership.
Ross will play with Walsh this AVP season.
Ross started every single match in her career at the University of Southern California, and led the team in kills and points each year. She also led the team in digs until the start of the libero position in 2002. Ross was the National Freshman of the Year and was first-team All-Pac 10 each of her four seasons. She led the team to back-to-back National Championships in 2002 and 2003 and was the conference’s Player of the Year in 2003 as a senior.
2015: Ross and Walsh Jennings extended their streak by winning their eighth consecutive AVP event in the season opener. Ross then played three events with Jennifer Fopma, winning twice, and then once with Lauren Fendrick, winning in the season finale. Ross led the Tour in both aces (1.41 per set) and hitting percentage (.563), was third in digs (6.11 per set) and fourth in kills per set (6.89). On the FIVB Tour, Ross and Walsh Jennings played in seven events, winning one silver and one bronze. She also played three other tournaments with three other players with a best of fourth.