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April Ross, left, celebrates with her teammate Jennifer Kessy after defeating Argentina in their Beach Volleyball match. Both Ross and Kessy are from Southern California.
Southern Californians and Olympic newcomers Jen Kessy and April Ross won their first match of the Olympics Sunday in two sets, 21-11, 21-18.
"There were nerves just because it was our first game in our first Olympics," Ross told NBC. "There are going to be nerves, but getting that first match under our belt is going to help out a lot."
Their opponents, Ana Gallay and Maria Virginia Zonta of Argentina, never led a set in the match.
"I think we out powered them and we came in and started hitting as hard as we could," Kessy said. "We started off with two aces and I don’t think you can ask for anything more. We played as hard as we could."
Since falling just short of making the Olympic team in 2008, Kessy and Ross have used their disappointment as an inspiration to train and play harder.
"It motivated everything that we did," Kessy said. "We did not want to have that feeling again of missing it by 60 points or something. So we went into the qualifying period as hard as we could and we played as well as we could this whole time and now we’re here living the dream."
Kessy and Ross will take to the court Tuesday against Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer of the Netherlands.