Jennifer "Jen" Anne Kessy (born July 31, 1977) is an American professional beach volleyball player on the Nivea Corporation's AVP Tour.
Growing up in Southern California, Kessy excelled at multiple sports. In high school, she was the MVP of the swim team her junior year and the captain and the MVP of the volleyball team her senior year, earning honors as an All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) second team. In 1994, she graduated from Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California.
Kessy continued her athletic excellence while attending the University of Southern California. She was a member of the volleyball team for all four years (1995–1998) and was named an All-American her senior year. Also, she was a member of the U.S. Junior National Team. Kessy graduated from USC with a bachelor's degree in history. Kessy was also a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
After signing a six-month contract for about $25,000, Kessy played indoor volleyball professionally under the coaches Gido Vermeulen (head, The Netherlands) and Christine Masel (assistant, DePaul University and University of Illinois) for the USPV Chicago Thunder which finished runners-up (10-8) in the USPV in 2002. In November 2002 with the collapse of the USPV, she signed with the team Pinkin de Corozal in Humacao, Puerto Rico, for the 2003 season and finished sixth overall for points in the LVSF.
Kessy competed with the Olympian Barbra Fontana in 2004 and the Olympic Bronze Medalist and three-time Olympian Holly McPeak in 2005.
Teaming up with her fellow USC Trojan April Ross in 2007, the tandem then became one of the most successful teams in the world. On July 4, 2009, Kessy and Ross won the FIVB World Championships in Stavanger, Norway, defeating the Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca.
As of April 2012, Kessy had ten AVP and nine FIVB first-place finishes overall, as well as over $1,223,635 in total prize money.
In the spring of 2012, Kessy signed as a CoverGirl model for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
In the 2012 London Olympics Kessy and Ross finished with the silver medal, when they lost to their fellow countrywomen Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the championship game by the scores of 16-21 and 16-21.
Kessy did not play in the 2014 season due to her pregnancy with her first baby. She returned to the AVP tour in 2015 and teamed up with her fellow Californian Emily Day to begin the 2015 season.
Awards and honors
- 1994 All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) second team (volleyball)
- 1998 All-American in volleyball
- 2004 AVP Most Improved Player
- 2008 AVP "Best of the Beach"*
- 2009 AVP "Best of the Beach"*
- 2009 USA Volleyball Beach Team of the Year (shared with April Ross).
An asterisk denotes that Ms. Kessy was the only player to be named the AVP "Best of the Beach" for two consecutive years.
- Chicago Thunder in the United States Professional Volleyball League (2002)
- Pinkin de Corozal in the Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino (2003)