FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Fuzhou Open | 22 - 27 avril 2014

#FuzhouOpen


Press release

USA's Kerri Walsh and April Ross answer fan questions


April Ross and Kerri Walsh took home gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Fuzhou Open

Lausanne, Switzerland, May 7, 2014 – The first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event of the year kicked off with a bang in Fuzhou, China, with a thrilling win by three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings and partner April Ross from USA against Brazil's Juliana Felisberta Silva and Maria Antonelli.

Following their win, the pair sat down to answer questions collected from FIVB fans on Facebook and Chinese social media sites Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. Get to know the team:

Q1: You're from Southern California which has a big beach volleyball culture, growing up in that environment, how has that influenced your decision to go professional?

April Ross: I grew up in Southern California which has a big beach volleyball following and fanbase. I didn't like it growing up though, we used it as a cross training tool for indoor volleyball and I never looked forward to those days. It was really hard, and I felt that I was really bad at it. I got all sweaty, sandy and gross, so, I didn't like it growing up. So, I dont think that really played into my decision to go pro. It was after I tried it after I graduated college, I fell in love with the sport. I just love it and that's why I play it.

Q2: You guys played in Fuzhou where the weather wasn't great. How challenging was it for you and was weather a factor and did you have to do anything else differently to prepare for playing in the rain?

April Ross: I think you have to adjust for each different type of weather. It might be a different adjustment each time and it just depends on who you're playing and how bad the rain is. For me, it's hard to jump serve in the rain. The ball gets heavier and so you have to be ready for it to fall faster and anticipate that a little bit. But, it's basically the same game so, we just go out there and play volleyball.

Q3: How are you preparing for the Olympic Games in Rio

April Ross: We're preparing for the Olympics every day, trying to be the best that we can, in practice and coming out here and playing against the best in the world - tournament in and tournament out. Surrounding ourselves with knowledgeable, great people that can help us be the best that we can be. I think, one change for me this year, is the people that I'm working with; partnering with Kerri, working with a great coach, a really good strength coach - that's all a big part of it too.

Q4: Of the places that you've played in your career, are there any places that are your favourite and why?

April Ross: I feel super lucky that we get to travel the world and play beach volleyball, it's a dream! At this point, I have to say Kerri and I really like China! We've done pretty well and hopefully that continues. We've played in some really cool places - we played right under the Eiffel Tower for a couple years in Paris France, we've played in Barcelona Spain. We have a tournament in Long Beach California, it's the second time in a row we'll have it this year. We had a 10 year drought so it's nice to have it back in the United States. I can't really think of anywhere I don’t really enjoy playing -- I just love the game and I love to travel so it's all good!

Q5: You and April are both very experienced players who just recently got together as a team. How long did it take to build your dynamic together and are there any areas of improvement?

Kerri Walsh: Well, I think in a lot of ways we hit the ground running. We had chemistry from the beginning, we had a similar mindset from the beginning, and we're both really hungry to improve and to win. So we had a lot of great things come together from the start. That being said, we have so much room to grow as a team and so much more dynamic to build upon. So it's really, really exciting, we know it's going to be a really long tough journey to Rio and the thing I'm so excited about is that we have so much enthusiasm and passion for what we do. I don’t care how big the mountain is before us, we're going to climb it and we're going to achieve our dreams together and just love it! Even the tough times.

Q6: You have 3 Olympic Gold medals, one of which is from Beijing. Are you surprised at the growth of beach volleyball as a sport in China?

Kerri Walsh: No, I'm not surprised. I saw firsthand in Beijing people's love and support for our sport, and it was beautiful. I loved playing every single match in Beijing. It was sold out, the crowd was really enthusiastic. We played the Chinese team in the finals which was so intense and really, really fun! They have amazing teams and great athletes and I love that they're so supported by their federations and by their country. It makes a lot of sense to me because it's such a fun dynamic sport. It's great for families, it's great for young people and old people. For older people, I think it's just a good fit.

Q7: In the Fuzhou match, the announcer mentioned that you're a mother of three, which got a lot of "Oohs and Aahs" from the crowd, because as a sport, beach volleyball is physically and mentally demanding. Are you surprised by their reaction?

Kerri Walsh: Yes and no. It's my normal now, it still shocks me that I have three little souls that I'm responsible for, so that part trips me out! I love that people can relate to me, or that they find inspiration or that they think I'm crazy or whatever it is to be doing what I'm doing with three kids. For me, I'm truly living my dream. I've always wanted to be a working mommy - I have a beautiful family and an amazing husband. That just makes me feel really proud.


Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
28.04.2014 16:48:47
Ross and Walsh "know exactly what is required" - Natalie Cook

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 28, 2014 – Australian beach volleyball legend Natalie Cook looks back at the World Tour's first stop this year at the Fuz... More...

28.04.2014 15:14:53
Chinese beach volleyball stars answer fan questions

Fuzhou, China, April 28, 2014 – New Chinese beach volleyball partners Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi made great strides at the first FIVB Beach Volleyball Wor... More...

27.04.2014 12:08:46
Walsh and Ross clinch Fuzhou Open gold

Fuzhou, China, April 27, 2014 - Three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh and partner April Ross from USA swept past Brazil's Juliana Felisberta Silva a... More...

27.04.2014 10:50:13
Juliana makes successful comeback to FIVB World Tour

27.04.2014 05:27:36
Juliana and Antonelli to meet Walsh and Ross in women's final at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

26.04.2014 16:17:48
Netherland's Meeuwsen expected to return to FIVB World Tour in May

26.04.2014 13:55:43
Defending champs Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi on course for gold at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

26.04.2014 11:49:29
Italy’s Nicolai and Lupo grab first FIVB World Tour title

25.04.2014 17:06:35
Samoilovs and Smedins through to semis at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

25.04.2014 16:32:39
Talita and Lima labor into second round knock-out phase at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

25.04.2014 12:14:46
Catch the action of the Fuzhou Open on FIVB Web TV

24.04.2014 14:47:00
Defending champ Xue and Xia stunned by Japanese qualifiers at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

24.04.2014 12:07:28
Emanuel and Pedro progress to knock out stage at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

23.04.2014 15:41:35
Plavins and Solovejs upset defending champs in Fuzhou

23.04.2014 13:16:13
Laboureur and Sude storm into Fuzhou women's Main Draw

22.04.2014 18:05:19
Walkenhorst and Ludwig aiming to take final step

22.04.2014 17:01:00
German pair Laboureur and Sude top seeds at Fuzhou Open Women's Qualification Tournament

22.04.2014 11:38:34
Salvetti/Daguerre lead eight teams into men's Main Draw at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

21.04.2014 20:43:00
Fuzhou Open starts Tuesday with men's qualifying

21.04.2014 15:20:09
Fuzhou Opens marks start of record-breaking season

20.04.2014 23:55:20
2014 FIVB World Tour debuts with Fuzhou Open

20.04.2014 17:36:14
Phil Dalhausser looks to climb back to the top in beach volleyball

20.04.2014 10:42:25
Fuzhou gets ready for first FIVB beach volleyball event of the year

19.04.2014 09:43:34
Fuzhou Open Q&A: Get to know China's beach volleyball stars

18.04.2014 10:41:08
Venezuelans back in tandem for Fuzhou Open

17.04.2014 17:59:46
Thailand and Iran claim gold at latest Asian Beach Volleyball Tour event

15.04.2014 17:27:05
Alison and Bruno continue impressive form

15.04.2014 16:58:05
FIVB World Tour champs hitting top form

14.04.2014 18:21:12
Zurich glory for Swiss and German duos

13.04.2014 11:20:07
Top New Zealand pair out to boost beach volleyball’s profile before taking on world

10.04.2014 15:04:34
FIVB stars on show as Swiss Tour gets underway

02.04.2014 21:27:50
Juliana back in business as Fuzhou kicks-off World Tour

24.03.2014 12:47:30
Juliana makes mark before World Tour return

30.01.2014 10:04:59
2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour ready for more highlights in record-breaking year