April Ross told NBC Sports why she and Kerri Walsh Jennings are no longer partners and sounded upbeat.
Walsh Jennings in turn posted on her Facebook page as both went out of their respective ways to emphasize that their breakup was not contentious.
According to NBC: Before they split, Ross said she and Walsh Jennings discussed and considered for a while keeping their partnership for FIVB World Tour events. Under that plan, Ross would play with a different partner in AVP tournaments.
“It’s not like a negative thing, and I don’t think she views it as a negative thing,” Ross said. “So I think we’re both excited for the future in our different ways.”
Walsh Jennings had nothing but praise for Ross, with whom she won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I have so much love in my heart for April. We fall on different sides of this situation, but that does not change my high opinion of her nor can it change the amazing times we shared together. April has made my life better. Period. It was a true joy to get to know her better and to compete with her. She is deserving of everything beautiful in this world and in her life.”
Walsh Jennings, however, is suing the AVP for monies owed and is against the AVP’s player contract that demands tour exclusivity. Ross is playing AVP Huntington Beach this weekend, that tour’s first event, with Whitney Pavlik.
“Things got a little bit hairy at the end, and me deciding to play AVP just ended up being the nail in the coffin for us,” Ross said. “Our paths just took us in two very different directions. It was pretty clear towards the end that we weren’t going to play together, and a lot of it stemmed I think from me being so pro-AVP and wanting to support this tour and her having other ideas.”
Ross said she will play the rest of the season with Lauren Fendrick.
“The timing was a little rough because it was right before the season, but I’m really excited for the opportunities this summer with Lauren,” Ross said. “I feel like this is just the next step for me on my journey to being the best I can be and for growth. I just feel like the future is exciting for me.”
Here is the entire comment from Walsh Jennings on her Facebook page:
“My husband just pointed out to me that all the quotes out there referring to @AprilRoss and I parting ways are pretty harsh. That’s one thing that’s hard with the media — I can give full length answers full of love and admiration and yet when they follow up with “so you’re finished?!” And I confirm, that’s what they go with. Make sense?! I said it and yet it’s not the entire story nor is it my full answer.
“I have so much love in my heart for April. We fall on different sides of this situation, but that does not change my high opinion of her nor can it change the amazing times we shared together. April has made my life better. Period. It was a true joy to get to know her better and to compete with her. She is deserving of everything beautiful in this world and in her life.
“Life is about growth and change and loving your way through all of it. That’s what I aim to do as I dance my way through the changing landscape. I am so excited for what the future holds and I am forever grateful for the true blessings that I’ve experienced these last years. They’ve been priceless and beautiful. April is on the top of my list of beautiful blessings in my life.”