Beach Volleyball: Ross claims crown

Newport Harbor High product April Ross and partner Jennifer Kessy won the women's title at the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals' Cincinnati Open at Washington Park on Sunday.

Ross and Kessy, who won the silver medal at the London Olympics and were the No. 2 seed in the AVP event, the first of the season for the domestic beach volleyball organization owned now by Newport Beach resident Donald Sun, defeated No. 4-seeded Kerri Walsh and Nicole Branagh, 21-11, 21-18, in the final.

Ross and Kessy knocked off former UC Irvine standout Whitney Pavlik and Jenny Kropp, the No. 1-seeded entry, 21-12, 21-16, in the semifinals.

Walsh was competing without former partner Misty May-Treanor, another Newport Harbor graduate who paired with Walsh to win three straight Olympic gold medals, for the first time since May-Treanor retired following the London Olympic Games.

In the men's tournament, Estancia High product Matt Fuerbringer teamed with Nick Lucena to finish second. The No. 3-seeded duo was defeated, 21-17, 21-16, by top-seeded John Hyden and Sean Scott in the final.

Fuerbringer and Lucena defeated Costa Mesa resident Brad Keenan and John Mayer, the No. 4 seeded team, in the semifinals.

Costa Mesa resident Jake Gibb and Corona del Mar resident Sean Rosenthal, seeded No. 6, were beaten, 21-17, 21-13, by Keenan and Mayer, who then advanced to the semifinals.

— From staff reports

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