Ross records upset

Former Newport Harbor High volleyball standout April Ross finally topped another former star with the Sailors, Misty May-Treanor, in international action.

Ross and Jennifer Kessy upset May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, the two-time Olympic champions, 21-16, 21-19, in the quarterfinals of the FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam in Poland on Friday.

The victory gives Ross and Kessy their first in international play against May-Treanor and Walsh, who are in their first season together since 2008. May-Treanor and Walsh had won the last seven international meetings against Ross and Kessy.

Ross and Kessy, the fifth seed, advanced to the semifinals on Saturday. The semifinal appearance is the sixth for Ross and Kessy this season.

The duo, which has won one title this season, faces fourth-seeded Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli of Brazil.

In the other semifinal, top-seeded Brazilians Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva play third-seeded Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China.

Ross and Kessy defeated May-Treanor and Walsh for only the fourth time, the previous three wins came during the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals Tour. On the AVP, Ross and Kessy went 3-39 against May-Treanor.

Ross and Kessy last beat May-Treanor and Walsh at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open in Sept. 2008.

"We watched video of our loss to them in Rome at the world championships and we concentrated on our missed opportunities and looked for what we could do differently," Ross told the FIVB. "Jen and I really trusted each other well in this match on our calls. They made a few more mistakes than they normally do and that was a key to our victory as well ... There aren't a lot of teams who can say they have beaten Misty and Kerri."

May-Treanor and Walsh failed to qualify for the semifinals for only the 10th time in 67 career FIVB tournaments together. May-Treanor and Walsh had swept their previous matches in the tournament, winning one via forfeit.

The semifinals on Saturday will be streamed live on at 5:45 a.m.

— From staff reports

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