Sand Volleyball
    Silver Medalists Ross/Kessy To Participate In New Merle Norman Stadium Dedication
    Jennifer Kessy (left) and April Ross
    Jennifer Kessy (left) and April Ross

    March 4, 2013

    2012 London Olympic beach volleyball silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy will play the first-ever match in USC's new Merle Norman Stadium, as dedication ceremonies will be held this Thursday (March 7) at 4:30 p.m. for the new on-campus home to the Women of Troy sand volleyball team.

    Following the dedication hosted by USC athletic director Pat Haden, Ross and Kessy--who were All-American indoor players at USC before forming one of the world's finest women's beach duos ever--will play an exhibition alumni match at 5 p.m.

    The dedication ceremony and alumni match are free and open to the public. To RSVP, go to usc.edu/ESVP and enter Sand.

    Merle Norman Stadium, located on the east side of campus on Figueroa Street across from the Galen Center, features 3 courts with sand from the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The palm tree-encircled stadium also has bleachers and a grass berm for spectator seating, a scoreboard and audio system, lighting, restrooms, showers and a storage area.

    The 2013 Women of Troy are ranked third nationally in the American Volleyball Coaches Association pre-season coaches poll. They open their season this Sunday (March 10) hosting No. 4 Florida State and Loyola Marymount.

    USC is now in the second year fielding a women's sand volleyball team, an NCAA "emerging sport." There are currently 30 schools nationally that sponsor the sport, closing in on the 40 teams required to be an NCAA-sanctioned championship sport.

    Last year, USC went 7-4 and sent 2 teams to the pairs portion of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championship. The Women of Troy played their 2012 home matches at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.

    Merle Norman Stadium