Ross/Kessy Survive Thrilling 3-Set Win Over Spain In 2012 Olympics|
Aug. 2, 2012
Former USC women's volleyball greats April Ross and Jennifer Kessy twice overcame match point to finish preliminary round play undefeated in the 2012 Olympics with a thrilling 21-19, 19-21, 19-17 victory over Spain's Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan on Thursday (Aug. 2).
The victory gives Ross/Kessy a final pool play record of 3-0 and sends the world's No. 4-ranked squad with a likely high seeding as they now advance into the Round of 16 elimination bracket.
After leading 9-7 in the third set but then giving up 3 consecutive points, the Americans had to stave off two match points with Spain up 14-12. The Spaniards hit long on both points to even the set at 14-14, then the teams traded points before the Americans forged a 16-15 lead thanks to a nice Kessy dig. Ross then scored the Americans' final three points on kills, the first following her amazing one-handed dig to make it 17-16 USA and then the last after capitalizing on a Spanish overpass at 18-17 USA.
Ross had 22 kills and 10 digs in the match, while Kessy added 18 kills and 10 digs.
The Spanish team, ranked 12th in the world and undefeated in pool play coming into today's contest, stayed close throughout the match because of play at the service line. The Spaniards served 8 aces (to USA's zero), while the Americans had 10 serving errors.
Ross/Kessy's next match will be at 11 a.m. on Aug. 3 against Switzerland's Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zunkehr, the world's No. 9-ranked duo who went 1-2 in pool play.
Follow Kessy/Ross and the rest of the 40 Trojan Olympians' quest for gold at www.usctrojans.com/london2012