Women's Volleyball
    April Ross And Jennifer Kessy Earn Spot In 2012 London Olympics
    April Ross (left) and Jennifer Kessy
    April Ross (left) and Jennifer Kessy

    May 17, 2012

    Former USC All-American women's volleyball players April Ross and Jennifer Kessy have qualified for the 2012 London Olympics in beach volleyball.

    The duo will be one of two teams representing the United States, along with two-time gold medalists Misty May and Kerri Walsh.

    It is the first Olympic appearance for Ross and Kessy, who just missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympics (they finished third among the American teams, but countries are allowed a maximum of two beach volleyball teams in Olympic play).

    "I always watched the Olympics," Kessy said at the U.S. Olympic Committee media summit this week. "I always found it super entertaining. But I never thought I would get there. It was a dream, but an unattainable dream. Everybody wants to go to the Olympics.

    "I thought I'd have the chance in 2008 and just missed it, and I thought, `Maybe that was my chance.' And then this opportunity came along, and we worked hard for it, and it's definitely been a dream for too long."

    Added Ross: "It was like, `OK. Maybe this can happen. Then it was like, full-bore ahead. We're going to do this."

    Kessy starred at USC from 1995 to 1998, while Ross was at USC from 2000 to 2003 when she helped the Women of Troy to NCAA titles her final two seasons.

    USC has sent more athletes to the Olympic Games than any other U.S. university. From 1904 to 2008, there have been 394 athletes who attended USC before, during or after their Olympic experience. Trojans have won a record 262 Olympic medals, including 123 gold (more than any U.S. university), 78 silver and 61 bronze. A Trojan has won a gold medal in every summer Olympics since 1912.

    Upwards of 30 Trojans are expected to compete in the London Games this summer.