Beach Volleyball: Ross is steady in Virginia

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — April Ross and Jen Kessy won the Huntington Beach Open two weeks ago on the Assn. Volleyball of Professionals Tour. They were seeded No. 2 then and they are the second-seeded team again at the Virginia Beach Open.

Ross, the former Newport Harbor High standout, and Kessy are out to prove they can be No. 1 again. They were impressive to open their competition Saturday. They won their three matches easily to remain in contention. They'll face Rachel Scott and Elaine Youngs today with a semifinal berth on the line.

Meanwhile, the top-seeded team of Misty May-Treanor and Nicole Branagh struggled, but still finished the day unbeaten.

May-Treanor, also a former Newport Harbor star, and Branagh fought off a stiff first-round challenge from 32nd-seeded Petia Yanchulova and Summer Ross, winning 21-16, 19-21, 15-13.

May-Treanor and Branagh went on to win their next two matches without dropping a game, beating 16th-seeded Paige Jensen and Jennifer Snyder 23-21, 21-6 and ninth-seeded Lauren Fendrick and Ashley Ivy 29-27, 21-17.

May-Treanor and Branagh will play the fifth-seeded team of Angie Akers and Tyra Turner today, with the winner advancing to the semifinals.

April Ross and Kessy were hard to beat Saturday. They topped 31st-seeded Jennifer Corral and JoAnna Papageorgiou 21-12, 21-12, then dispatched 15th-seeded Kristen Batt and Brooke Sweat 21-16, 21-17.

The Huntington Beach Open champions capped their day with a 21-15, 21-14 win over the seventh-seeded team of Angela Lewis and Priscilla Lima.

On the men's side, Estancia High product Matt Fuerbringer also proved to be succcessful as No. 2 seeds with teammate Nick Lucena Saturday.

Fuerbringer and Lucena swept through 31st-seeded Matt Davis and Kevin Gregan 21-12, 21-17, 15th-seeded Joey Dykstra and Adam Roberts, 21-14, 23-21, and 10th-seeded Austin Rester and Paul Baxter, 21-15, 21-17.

Fuerbringer and Lucena will meet sixth-seeded Billy Allen and Braidy Halverson today to try to move onto the semifinals.

The women's final is scheduled for 11 a.m. today and the men's final for 1 p.m. The women's final will be televised live on ESPN2 and the men's final will be broadcast live on Universal Sports.

— From staff reports

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