Meet the new partner of April Ross

The new beach volleyball partner of April Ross

When Kerri Walsh-Jennings decided to boycott an AVP beach volleyball tournament just a few weekends after winning bronze in Rio, her partner, April Ross, was left with a choice. Either skip the tournament, or find a different partner at the last minute to join her at the AVP’s last tournament of the season.

Ross decided to play, and contacted first-year AVP player Kelly Reeves on Monday. The pair won their first game of the tournament on Friday afternoon as young fans cheered for her and held up glittery signs with her name. They were the reason she made sure she was playing.

On an 11-year run as playing partners, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor were the world’s most consistently dominant women’s beach volleyball players. They became multiple-time world champions, and they made a home at the top spot of the world rankings. They won three straight Olympic gold medals, too, the last coming in London in 2012.

And then May-Treanor retired.

So it is that Walsh Jennings, in Rio this month in search of a fourth straight gold medal, has a new playing partner in April Ross. Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor beat Ross and partner Jennifer Kessy in the gold medal match in London, and after that match ended, Walsh Jennings reportedly told Ross, “Let’s go get gold in Rio.”

So, they’re trying. Ross and Jennings first started playing together in July 2013, more than three years ago. They’re new partners, but only relatively. They’re ranked the No. 3 pairing in the world behind two sets of Germans, Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst and Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude.

Walsh Jennings and Ross start their Olympic journey against an Australian pairing at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday. You can watch it right here.

 Ross is, in her own right, one of the world’s great players.

Walsh Jennings has more name recognition, but Ross is an equal partner on what’s still America’s best beach volleyball team. In addition to her silver from London, Ross has won a handful of gold medals on the FIVB World Tour. The 34-year-old previously led USC to a 2003 national championship in the college ranks. (She was a three-sport athlete years earlier, playing volleyball and basketball and running track in high school.)

Ross stands 6’1, a bit shorter than Walsh Jennings’ 6’3 but notably taller than May-Treanor’s 5’9. Ross and Walsh Jennings have proven good complements to one another. Walsh has long been a force around the net, and Ross is a strong setter who can spike the ball herself.

Team Mobile Sports would like to thank http://www.sbnation.com and Alex Kirshner CLICK HERE the full article.

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