April Ross and Alix Klineman Flying into Hermosa Under the Radar
The A Team took the beach volleyball World by storm in January. Starting in the country quota of the FIVB Four Star event in Hague and proceeding to go undefeated for the weekend, wrapping up the duo's first title in their first tournament together. The beach volleyball World was buzzing with talk of Ross and her new partner taking over the World.
Since then, Ross's former partner Kerri Walsh has concocted a new beach volleyball tour, team USC (Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes) has split and the AVP has partnered with the FIVB to create a first of its kind monster 48 team hybrid event taking place in Huntington Beach this weekend. Quietly, April and Alix have kept working. Refining and tuning.
Ross is no stranger to the spotlight. She has won two Olympic medals. The first was a silver as the overachieving underdogs with Jennifer Kessy and the second a bronze as part of America's dream team with Kerri Walsh Jennings. When you get to know her, you don't ever get the feeling that the spotlight is something that she craves. It is not likely that being the 14th seed overall the the #3 USA team in the Huntington Beach bothers her at all.
You get the feeling that she has what she needs. A big block in front of her, a good friend by her side as her coach, and home soil advantage. Let the beach volleyball World marvel about the second place finish in Xiamen that Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar put together. Let Kerri trumpet the amount of prize money on the line in her new event series. Let Summer and Sara feel the pressure of expectation.
April has the World right where she wants them and that is in Huntington Beach. The A Team is our pick to win the women's division of the FIVB Four Star event this weekend.