For the fourth year in a row and sixth time in her career, April Ross has been named USA Volleyball’s 2016 Women’s Beach Player of the Year. The two-time Olympian recently won bronze in the Rio 2016 Olympic games with partner Kerri Walsh Jennings as well as winning the silver medal in the London 2012 Olympic games with partner Jennifer Kessy.
The California native has been surrounded by volleyball for most of her life and attended the University of Southern California where her volleyball career launcehd indoors. Being named National Freshman of the Year in 2000 in the PAC-10 indoors to now the Best Server on the World Tour 2016 outdoors, Ross has dominated on the court and in the sand.
“I’m really honored to be named USA Volleyball’s player of the year again this year; I can’t believe it’s my sixth time,” Ross said. “The past season was definitely the best one of my career and I have to thank Kerri, Marcio (Sicoli), Jon (Daze) and Gustavo (Rocha) for that. I’ve learned so much from all of them the past four years. I’m very thankful I was given that opportunity. I love the USAV family so it makes this award all the more meaningful, so thanks to them as well!”
Ross and Walsh-Jennings have been partnered together since 2013 and have accumulated over 150 wins together. They had 10 podium finishes in 2016, including five gold medals on FIVB World Tour. The duo also won all three Grand Slam events taking the gold in Rio, Moscow, and Long Beach, California, as well as finishing second in the 2016 FIVB World Tour ranks.
The dynamic duo may split up due to the fact that April Ross is also the recipient of the 2016 women AVP Volleyball Tour MVP award. Ross and her husband, Brad Keenan, are attempting to conceive their first child together. Ross says that she will sit out the 2017 season if she is able to get pregnant before it begins, and otherwise will play through the year and sit out 2018 instead.