The A-Team is Back


April Ross and Alix Klineman’s Triumphant Return to the AVP: A New Chapter in Beach Volleyball

As the sands of time shift beneath our feet, so too does the landscape of professional beach volleyball. On May 17th at the AVP Huntington Beach Open Heritage event, the beach volleyball community will witness a new chapter as April Ross and Alix Klineman return to the arena. Both athletes, now proud mothers, stepped away from professional play after an unbeaten streak on the AVP in 2020 and 2021, marking their brief retirement with a legacy of excellence. This comeback isn’t just a return to competition; it’s a reaffirmation of their relentless spirit and an inspiration to athletes everywhere.


A Legacy of Dominance

April Ross has adorned her career with numerous accolades including Olympic medals (bronze, silver and gold). Alix Klineman, who transitioned from an impressive indoor volleyball career in 2017, found her true calling on the beach beside Ross. Between 2018 and 2021, the duo amassed an awe-inspiring AVP record of 76 wins with only 5 losses. They remained undefeated through the 2020 and 2021 seasons, showcasing not only their skill but a deep-rooted synergy that has become their hallmark.


Role Models On and Off the Sand

Both April and Alix have embraced a new and profound journey—motherhood. April welcomed her son, Ross Riley, on November 10, 2023, while Alix celebrated the arrival of Theodore Gray Purcell earlier on June 9, 2023. Their return to the AVP as new mothers will not only add another dimension to their legacies on the sand but stands as a beacon of inspiration for women, particularly those juggling the demands of motherhood with professional aspirations.


Historical Rivalries and Current Competitors

The game has changed since the A-Team left the sand. The competition in Huntington Beach is steeped with talent and emerging storylines. Kristin Nuss and Taryn Kloth, ranked #2 team in the world and the top seed in Huntington Beach, are the only intact and competing team that has previously faced Ross and Klineman in 2021.

Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng have also established themselves as one of the top teams in the world. Ranked third globally and seeded the same in Huntington, bring a level of skill and passion unmatched by few. As the reigning champions of this event last year, their presence at Huntington Beach adds yet another layer of intensity to the competition.

Melissa Humana-Paredes, formerly paired with Sarah Pavan, contributed to two of the “A-Team’s” five career losses on the AVP. This duo previously triumphed over April and Alix in two AVP finals. However, starting in 2023, Melissa has embarked on a new partnership with Brandie Wilkerson, who holds the fifth world ranking and is the fourth seed in Huntington Beach.


Engage and Predict

What do you think lies in store for Ross and Klineman in this upcoming season? Will they reclaim their spot at the top, or does a new challenge await them? Will they qualify for The League and will we get to see them take on the new top teams in that format?

The return of the A-Team to the AVP isn’t just a continuation of their careers—it’s a renewal of their commitment to excellence and a passion for beach volleyball that inspires us all. As we count down the days to their first match back on the sand, their legacy continues to influence and shape the future of the sport. Join us in Huntington Beach to witness this monumental comeback and be a part of beach volleyball history.

Welcome back, A-Team.

Category: Athlete Stories, AVP News, Current Season

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