Lausanne, Switzerland, May 5, 2017 – Triple Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings is looking for a new partner after she and April Ross split before the resumption of the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, at the Rio de Janeiro 4-Star event
on May 17.
The 38-year-old Walsh Jennings and Ross had been in partnership from 2013. They won bronze at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and 10 gold medals on the World Tour.
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However, while Ross signed a contract to play on the US-based AVP Tour Walsh Jennings has so far refused. Ross has already committed to compete with Whitney Pavlik on the AVP and while she and Walsh Jennings are still able to play on the World Tour, the logistics of switching from different partners for domestic and international tours appear to rule that out.
“I have a ton of respect for April,” Walsh Jennings told the Associated Press. “I just have a different vision for the future.
“April and I are finished. We’re not competing together anymore.”
Walsh Jennings won Olympic gold with Misty May-Treanor at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 before she teamed up with Ross in 2013. They also won three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships gold medals.
Ross made her name with Jennifer Kessy, with whom she won gold at the 2009 World Championships. They later won silver at London 2012, when they lost to Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor in the gold medal match.
For now, Walsh Jennings is targeting the Porec Major Series Event in Croatia that runs from June 27-July 2 as her next World Tour event.
“I plan on playing the five-star FIVB events,” Walsh Jennings told volleyballmag.com. “I’m currently partner-less, but it’s not even concerning to me yet, because I just had a bigger vision and this year was always going to be weird. But I’m planning on playing and I’m planning on winning.”
Walsh Jennings has regularly spoken of her intention to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games when she will be chasing a fifth Olympic medal.
“United States beach volleyball athletes have the flexibility to choose their partnerships in the pursuit of a winning formula,” USA Volleyball CEO, Jamie Davis said. “It is not uncommon, especially in the first year of an Olympic quadrennial, for athletes to change partnerships as they test and plan their journey towards Olympic qualification.
“USA Volleyball will continue to fully support the beach athletes and is confident that our country will be well represented as we build towards Tokyo 2020.”