April Ross Wins Manhattan Beach Open with Kerri Walsh Jennings

    USC All-American April Ross

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    Aug. 18, 2014

    MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. - Three-time USC women’s volleyball All-American April Ross continues to write her name in the history books as she teamed with three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings to win the Manhattan Beach Open this weekend (Aug. 17). Widely considered the world’s most renowned beach volleyball tournament, the Manhattan Beach Open will honor Ross and Walsh Jennings on a plaque on the beach’s pier.

    Ross becomes the fifth Trojan ever to win the Manhattan Beach Open and will have her name forever enshrined on the Manhattan Beach Pier alongside past winners, including former Trojans Miki McFadden (the only other Trojan woman), Ron Lang, Tim Hovland, and Adam Johnson.

    On Sunday, Ross won the tournament for the first time in her career. She and partner Walsh Jennings battled against some of the most talented beach volleyball players in the world to claim the championship. In the final match, the duo faced Brooke Sweat and former UCLA standout Lauren Fendrick. The match went to three sets before Ross and Walsh Jennings completed a 19-21, 21-13, 9-0 win with Sweat and Fendrick retiring early due to Sweat’s back spasms.

    "I never really let myself believe it was actually going to happen because I wanted it so bad," said Ross. "It was kind of weird how it happened, but I think we played really well this whole tournament and we battled. Even in that final until Brooke got hurt, we battled and I think we were going to take it."

    In earlier rounds, Ross and Walsh Jennings were victorious against other notable volleyball icons. In the quarterfinals, the duo beat the team of Lane Carico and Kim DiCello in two sets. Carico is the sister of former Trojan setter Taylor Carico. Ross and Walsh Jennings also knocked off the young beach phenom Summer Ross and her partner Emily Day in the semifinals in three sets.

    “I'm humbled by the fact that I'm out there with Kerri,” said Ross, “and I'm going to be on the pier till the world ends.”

    Please visit www.USCTrojans.com for more information on the USC women’s volleyball and sand volleyball teams.