Kessy-Ross Upset Brazilians To Advance To Olympic Gold Medal Match
Aug. 7, 2012
USC women's volleyball greats April Ross and Jennifer Kessy will play for an Olympic gold medal after posting a dramatic comeback in a driving rainstorm to upset Brazilians Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca, the world's top ranked team, 15-21, 21-19, 15-12, in the 2012 London Games on Tuesday (Aug. 7).
It will be an "All American" final as Ross/Kessy, ranked No. 4 in the world, face their American teammates, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, the two-time defending Olympic champs who are No. 3 in the world currently. The gold medal match will start at 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday (Aug. 8).
Ross/Kessy were tied with Silva/Franca at 11-11 in the first set before the Brazilians tallied 3 consecutive points and never looked back. Things looked bleak for the Americans midway through the second set when they fell behind 11-7 and then 14-11, but Ross/Kessy scored 6 of the next 7 points (with the help of back-to-back Kessy blocks) to forge a 17-15 lead. The Brazilians caught up at 19-19 before consecutive kills by Kessy and then Ross evened the match and gave Silva-Franca their first set loss of the Olympics. In the final set, a Ross kill followed by a hitting error by the Brazilian team pushed the USA out to a 7-5 lead and they were never threatened.
Ross had 20 kills, 12 digs and 2 aces, while Kessy added 18 kills and 3 blocks.
Kessy was a 2-time All-Conference performer at USC while lettering from 1995 to 1998. Ross, who lettered from 2000 to 2003, was a 2-time All-American and was the 2003 Honda Award winner for women's volleyball as she led the Women of Troy to the 2002 and 2003 NCAA titles. Kessy and Ross have combined for 21 pro tournament victories.
Follow Kessy/Ross and the rest of the 41 Trojan Olympians' quest for gold at www.usctrojans.com/london2012