- Published Date
- Written by Super User
- Category: Women
- Hits: 6156
Birthdate: July 31, 1977
Hometown: San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Resides: Laguna Beach, Calif.
Height: 6’ 0"
Website (w/April Ross): kessyross.com
BEST FINISH / WINNINGS
Domestic: 1st (16 times) $696,384.50
International: 1st (11 times) $620,250.00
Overall: 1st (27 times) $1,316,634.50
One of the best female players on the beach, Jen Kessy and her partner April Ross have established themselves as the new American team to beat, capping off 2012 with a silver medal from the London Olympics and two first-place finishes on the AVP Tour.
The duo started off their partnership in 2007 with a second-place finish in the 2007 AVP season-opener in Miami. They advanced to five additional semifinals, including another championship match. In Hermosa Beach, Calif., they defeated Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the winner’s bracket, marking just the third time that duo had lost on the AVP Tour prior to the semifinals. On the FIVB Tour, Kessy and Ross’ first event ended with a loss in the country qualifier. However, the next week in the Stavanger Grand Slam, they became the lowest seeded team (29th) to win an FIVB event. After winning their country quota match and a pair of qualifier matches, they overcame two early pool play losses and won six straight matches to capture the title.
In 2008, Kessy and Ross were in the Final Four in all but one AVP Tour event and participated in five championship events. They finished the season ranked as the third on the Tour. In the season-ending Best of the Beach competition, Kessy won her first title in the individual format tournament, playing with Kerri Walsh in the finals. The tournament pushed her into the all-time Top 10 in domestic earnings. Internationally, Kessy and Ross just missed qualifying for the Beijing Olympics, finishing seventh in the world rankings, but as the third American team. Kessy and Ross ended the FIVB season with a second place finish followed by victories on consecutive weekends. In her last five tournaments of the year, Kessy collected a total of $101,000 in prize money.
The pair continued to be at the top of the AVP Tour in 2009, appearing in the finals in nine of their 10 AVP events and taking home four titles. Their win in Houston marked their first AVP title together after going 0-9 in title matches domestically. In Mason, the pair extended their streak to 19 consecutive semifinals on the AVP. On the FIVB Tour, they won the World Championships in Stavanger, Norway, marking the fourth straight time a team from the USA has won that title. In Gstaad, they finished fifth, ending a streak of 20 consecutive tournaments (AVP and FIVB) in the semifinals and six straight FIVB gold medal match appearances. Kessy and Ross also won in Marseille, one of six medals earned during the season.
In a streak from October 2008 through the 2010 Moscow Grand Slam, Kessy and Ross played for a medal in 17 of their 20 FIVB events, winning seven golds, six silvers and three bronzes in that span. Kessy surpassed the $1 million in career earnings in Gstaad in 2010, becoming the eighth woman and sixth American to do so.
After qualifying for their first Olympics in 2012, Kessy and Ross cruised through pool play unscathed, taking down teams from Spain, the Netherlands and Argentina. In the playoffs, they only dropped one set in three matches, setting up an All-American championship match against Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor. The pair came up short, losing in straight sets to take home the silver medal.
Since the retirement of May-Treanor, Kessy and Ross have established themselves as the new American team to beat, going undefeated through both AVP Tour events on back-to-back weekends, capping off the 2012 season with a 21-19, 21-16 victory over Walsh-Jennings and partner Nicole Branagh at the Championships in Santa Barbara. In their final international event of the year, the pair overcame a loss to fellow American team Lauren Fendrick and Branagh to win five straight matches to capture gold in Bang Saen, Thailand. Kessy and Ross have ended the year as the fourth-ranked team in the country with 5,360 points.
Kessy graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in history and was a member of the volleyball team for all four years (1995-98). She was named All-District in 1997, All-American in 1998 and earned All-Pac 10 honors all four years. She was also a member of the U.S. Junior National Team. She played indoor professionally for the Chicago Thunder in 2002 and in Puerto Rico in 2003. Kessy was born and raised in Orange County, Calif. alongside her brothers Ryan and Travis. She and French volleyball player, Andy Ces, were married in March of 2013.