April Elizabeth Ross (born June 20, 1982) is an American professional beach volleyball player. She won a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics with Jennifer Kessy, and a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics with Kerri Walsh Jennings. Ross and Kessy were also the 2009 Beach Volleyball World Champions.
Ross grew up in Newport Beach, California where she attended Newport Harbor High School. At NHHS, in addition to lettering in track, she was a star indoor volleyball player, eventually becoming the nation's top recruit for her graduating class. She won the Gatorade National Player of the Year award as a senior and was the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999. In her senior season, she notched 624 kills and 526 digs. She played club volleyball for Orange County Volleyball Club for five years. She also played on the U.S. Junior National Team. She is 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) tall.
She is married to Brad Keenan, since 2010, who also is a beach volleyball player.
Ross attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where in her freshman season she was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year as well as the National Freshman of the Year. In her freshman season in 2000, she received Pac-10 First Team honors as well as AVCA Second Team All-America honors. She helped USC to the NCAA Final Four.
As a sophomore in 2001, she was a second team All American and finished the season ranked fourth in Pac-10 in kills (3.98 kpg), sixth in points (4.52 ppg) and seventh in digs (3.04 dpg) and helped USC to the NCAA Regional Finals, when she suffered a sprained ankle during game two and was forced to leave the match.
In her final two seasons, she helped USC to back-to-back NCAA Titles. In 2002, she was named a First Team All-American and had 15 kills and 14 digs in the NCAA Championship win over Stanford, avenging their only loss of the season to the Cardinal. In 2003, she repeated as a First Team All-American, and helped USC to an undefeated season after defeating Florida in the NCAA championship match. Ross had 14 kills and 19 digs in the winning effort.
She finished her career among USC's all-time career record-holders, ranking in the top 6 in eight statistical categories, including first in points (1,430) and points per game, second in service aces (161) and service aces per game (0.38), fourth in attacks (3,859), fifth in kills (1576), kills per game (3.73) and digs (1,296) and sixth in digs per game (3.06).
In 2008, with her beach partner Jennifer Kessy during the Swatch FIVB World Tour 2008, they finished in third place at the ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger, second place at the Dubai Open and first place at the Phuket Thailand Open, where she was named the Most Outstanding Player. On September 7, 2008, Ross and Kessy upset the World No. 1 duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh at an AVP tournament in Santa Barbara, California. On July 4, 2009, Kessy and Ross won the FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway defeating Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca. As of April 2012, Ross had eight AVP and nine FIVB 1st-place finishes overall, as well as over $937,813 in total prize money.
World tour 2016
She played, with partner Walsh Jennings, at the Long Beach, California Grand Slam, which is part of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The pair won all 3 matches against, Carol/Ana Patrícia Brazil (21 – 17, 21 – 19), Humana-Paredes/Pischke Canada (21 – 16, 21 – 17), Maria Antonelli/Lili Brazil (21 – 19, 18 – 21, 15 – 13).
In semi-final action (August 27, 2016) Ross and Walsh Jennings played against Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany and won in straight sets (21 – 17, 21 – 16).
Gold Medal goes to Walsh/April in straight sets (21–16, 21–16), Silver goes to Spain's Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan.
Competing at the World Tour Finals in Toronto, playing in Pool A they are in 1st with a 2–0 and advance to quarter finals.
In the 2012 London Olympics, No. 4 seed Ross and Kessy won the Silver Medal by defeating Brazil's No. 1 seed team of Juliana and Larissa in a semi-final match after dropping the first set. They lost to teammates Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the Gold Medal final straight sets by an identical score of 16–21.
On June 26, 2013, Ross teamed up with Walsh-Jennings to train for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Ross played as a defender behind Walsh Jennings' block. Seeded at No. 3, Ross and Walsh Jennings lost to Brazil's No. 2 seed team of Agatha and Barbara in straight sets of 20–22 and 18–21 in a semi-final match. They defeated the No. 1 seed Brazil team of Larissa and Talita in the Bronze Medal match for Ross's second Olympic medal.
- FIVB Top Rookie: 2007
- FIVB Best Offensive Player (1): 2009
- FIVB Best Hitter: 2009, 2011
- FIVB Best Server: 2011, 2012, 2015–2017
- AVP Rookie of the Year: 2006
- AVP Most Improved Player: 2007
- AVP Best Server: 2013–2017
- AVP Best Offensive Player: 2013, 2017
- AVP Most Valuable Player: 2013–2017
- AVP Team of the Year: 2012 (with Jennifer Kessy), 2014, 2016 (with Kerri Walsh Jennings)
- Leonas de Ponce (2004–2006)
- Orange County Volleyball Club for 5 Years