Costa Mesa, Calif. (November 18, 2014) – Jennifer Kessy, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist and the winner of 29 beach volleyball tournaments worldwide, announced today that she will return to the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour for the 2015 season. Kessy, who missed the 2014 season for the birth of her first child, will partner with rising star Emily Day.
“I can’t overstate how excited I am to come back,” Kessy said. “Volleyball has always been a huge part of my life, and while it’s been a major milestone to experience the birth of my first baby, staying away from the beach hasn’t been easy. My original plan had been to play only in the U.S. after starting a family, but my time away has allowed me to reflect, and I feel recharged and ready to make a run toward another Olympic medal in 2016 with a terrific new partner in Emily Day. It all starts with the AVP in 2015, and I can’t wait to get back on the sand.”
Kessy, 37, a San Juan Capistrano native and a product of USC, turned professional in 2000 and has gone on to win 14 tournaments on the AVP Tour, 11 on the FIVB tour and four other events domestically. Undoubtedly her biggest career achievement was the silver medal she took home from the 2012 London Olympics. Playing with long-time partner April Ross, Kessy advanced to the gold medal match before falling to fellow Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, widely considered the best beach volleyball tandem ever.
With Kessy missing all of last season while pregnant with daughter Aïla– who was born in August – and May-Treanor also having her first baby, Ross and Walsh Jennings formed a partnership. That left Kessy seeking a new teammate when she returned, and there was little doubt that she wanted to first approach Day.
“Emily is exactly the type of player I dream about as a teammate,” Kessy said. “She’s an all-around excellent player, and the way she approaches the game mentally, combined with her work ethic off the court, shows me that she has a great future ahead of her. I’m excited to start working together toward our ultimate goal of medaling in Rio in 2016.”
Day, 27, has quickly developed as one of the best players on the AVP Tour and the international circuit, having risen to the top of the women’s ranks with solid 2013 and ’14 seasons. Playing alongside Summer Ross, Day won once and advanced to three other championship matches while also securing five third-place finishes in 13 AVP tournaments over the two seasons. A Torrance native and a product of Loyola Marymount University, she is known as one of the fittest and most cerebral players on the AVP and was tied for fifth in the AVP’s final women’s ranking this season.
“The opportunity to play with an Olympic silver medalist was something I couldn’t pass up,” Day said. “Not only is she an amazing player with a list of accomplishments that anyone would envy, but she has a wealth of experience. I’m looking forward to learning from her and becoming a better player just from being around her. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for my teammate of two years, Summer Ross. I expect that she’ll continue to rise up the ranks and that we’ll have many great battles on the beach in the years to come.”
The AVP’s 2014 schedule included seven tournaments in different regions of the U.S., from Florida to Southern California. In its third year under the guidance of AVP Managing Partner Donald Sun, who purchased the tour in 2012, the AVP expanded its property to include tour stops in St. Petersburg, Fla; Milwaukee; Salt Lake City; Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Cincinnati; Atlantic City, N.J.; and Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sept. 18-21).
Information on the AVP Tour’s 2015 schedule will be released soon.