U.S. Olympic Volleyball Player Jennifer Kessy Talks Trying Out Swimming
U.S. Olympic beach volleyball player Jennifer Kessy defied the odds and won a medal in London with partner April Ross. You might never guess that she almost chose swimming over volleyball. “I actually did swim in high school, it’s kind of on a whim that I decided to try out for the swim team,” Kessy told Uinterview in our exclusive interview. “It was the opposite season of the volleyball season and I said, ‘I think I’ll try out.’ I could jump really far off the block, and that was it. I didn’t like the 4:00 am practices, and my hair was green. It just wasn’t for me, but it was definitely a good reprieve from volleyball. I always knew that I was going to get a scholarship to play volleyball; that was my definite dream.” Born in San Clemente, California, Kessy has always been a competitor. She credits her two younger brothers, Ryan and Travis, for her crazy competitive attitude. Growing up, Kessy was always an active kid who could be found playing all kinds of sports — gymnastics, swimming, softball and soccer. Kessy started playing volleyball while attending San Clemente High School — excelling right away as she was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in her senior year. After high school, Kessy received a scholarship to play for the University of Southern California (USC), where she continued her athletic excellence. During her college years, Kessy earned an ALL-PAC 10 selection every year she played, was named a member of the U.S. Junior National Team, as well as being named All-American her senior year. After graduating USC with a bachelor’s degree in history, Kessy continued her career after deciding to play professional beach volleyball in 2000 and indoor volleyball in 2002. Kessy played in both the United States and Puerto Rico, establishing herself as one of the game’s best in the world throughout the 2000s. Before pairing up with current partner Ross in 2007, Kessy also had experience with other established players such as former Olympian Barbara Fontana, and Olympic Bronze medalist Holly McPeak.
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