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April Ross is a beach volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

April Ross makes her Olympic debut in London with longtime partner Jen Kessy. After her rookie season on the AVP Tour in 2006, for which she was named Rookie of the Year, Ross was picked up by Kessy prior to the 2007 summer, with their primary objective being to qualify for the 2008 Olympics. The duo was in contention for the second U.S. women's berth (behind Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings), but was eliminated in the second-to-last qualifying event one month before the Beijing Games, as the spot went to Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs. Ross and Kessy easily qualified for the London Games, and will be the No. 4 overall seed.

Despite missing the 2008 Olympics, Ross and Kessy finished second in the world rankings that year, and have placed in the top four every season since (2009 – 3rd; 2010 – 4th; 2011 – 4th). They've won nine career tournaments on the FIVB World Tour, and 11 in the U.S (through 2011). Kessy and Ross's 2009 season was their finest. They won a career-best three FIVB tournaments, including the 2009 World Championships, and appeared in the final of seven of the 12 international events they played. On the domestic AVP Tour, Kessy and Ross appeared in the final at 10 of their 12 tournaments, winning five titles. After the 2009 season, Ross was named the FIVB's Best Hitter and Best Offensive Player. In 2011, she was again named the Best Hitter and also added Best Server. Ross and Kessy won five FIVB medals in 2010 (two gold), seven FIVB medals in 2011 (one gold), and leading up to London in 2012 they won one bronze medal in seven events.

Ross and Kessy appeared in the gold-medal match of their last three tournaments on the 2008 FIVB World Tour and their first two of 2009, giving them the top seed for the 2009 World Championships in Stavanger, Norway. Yet, they were not the favorites. The top two Brazilian squads were absent from the season-ending events in 2008, and each team beat Ross and Kessy in those early 2009 finals. The favorites were Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca, who met Ross and Kessy in the world championship final. But the Americans proved worthy of the No. 1 seed, defeating Juliana and Larissa in straight sets (30-28, 23-21). Ross and Kessy became the second U.S. women's team to win a world title, after May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won in 2003, '05 and '07. Ross and Kessy placed 37th at their Worlds debut in 2007, and fifth at the 2011 Worlds, where they were knocked out by May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings in the quarterfinals.

Ross' first title at an elite tournament came with Kessy in June 2007, when the duo was seeded 29th at the Stavanger Grand Slam. It was just their second international event together (only the fourth in Ross' career), and the week before in Paris, they didn't even get into the tournament's main draw. But in Stavanger, they won three qualifying matches to get into the main draw, then lost their first two pool matches, but topped a Greek pair to advance to the single-elimination rounds. They didn't lose the rest of the way, beating third-seeded Chinese pair Tian Jia and Wang Jie in the final, a duo that went on to win silver at the 2008 Olympics. Ross and Kessy were the lowest seed ever to win a Grand Slam. One year later in Stavanger, they won bronze, and in 2009 they won their first world title at the same site. Making a gold medal an every odd year occurrence, Ross and Kessy won again in 2011. Stavanger hands out arguably the most popular souvenir on tour to the event's winners: Viking swords.

In August 2009, Ross and Kessy placed second at the AVP Chicago Open, earning $26,500 to put them over the $1 million mark as a team, just the third U.S. pair to do so. Through 2011, Kessy and Ross had earned $1,710,600 in worldwide winnings since joining in 2007, an amount that ranks second all-time among American women's teams. Kessy joined the millionaire group as an individual in July 2010; she became the sixth American woman to do so. Through 2011, Ross had earned $924,213 in her career.

Ross and Kessy were both raised in Orange County, Calif., and were ecstatic to win the 2010 AVP Huntington Beach Open, their first title in Orange County. Born in Costa Mesa, Calif., Ross played indoors for the Orange County Volleyball Club before attending Newport Harbor High School, the same school May-Treanor attended. Ross competed in volleyball and track and field for four years, and basketball for three years. In 1999, she was named Gatorade Circle of Champions National Player of the Year before enrolling up the coast at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the same college Kessy attended.

Ross graduated from USC in 2005 with a degree in international marketing and long list of accolades: USC's first-ever National Freshman of the Year, four-time All-American, 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year, two NCAA Championship All-Tournament teams, two Academic All-Pac-10 selections, and NCAA national titles in 2002 and '03. In 2000 and '01, Ross was also on the U.S. junior national team, and in 2003 she was on senior national team. Ross began her beach career in 2006 with former college teammate Keao Burdine, their best finish being ninth twice.

In November 2010, Ross was married to fellow beach volleyball pro Brad Keenan. She is close with her sister, Amy, and father, Glen. Her mother, Margie, passed away in 2001 due to breast cancer. Sometimes Ross will tap her chest twice and point to the sky — one tap is for her mother and the other is for God. Ross says her role model is her mother for the strength she showed throughout her life.


How tall is April Ross? How old is April Ross? Where does April Ross live? Find out here.

Age: 34 years old
Birthday: June 20, 1982
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 168 lbs.
Birthplace: Costa Mesa, CA
Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
Current Residence: Newport Beach, CA

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