FIVB Thailand Open

USA’s Emily Day talks strategy with partner Brittany Hochevar.

April Ross and Jenn Kessy win another big title: gold medal at the FIVB Thailand Open, defeating the Russian team of Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova in the first ever U.S.-Russia final in the history of the FIVB women’s World Tour. The bronze medal was taken by the Brazilian duo of Barbara Seixas de Freitas and Agatha Bednarczuk after they battled through three long sets against Americans Nicole Branagh and Lauren Fendrick.

Kessy and Ross won gold at the Thailand Open in 2008 and 2009 and silver in 2011. This year they struggled their way through the losers’ bracket and the brutal Southeast-Asian heat to make it to the finals but had no trouble against the Russians who fell in two sets, only ever holding a lead briefly in the second set. The final scores were 21-17, 21-19.

In the bronze medal match, some fierce defense from both teams forced the match to three sets, the Brazilians coming out on top in the end with scores of 19-21, 21-19, 15-9.

The Thailand Open was the final event of the 2012 FIVB season.

Originally published in January 2013

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