Who will be April Ross’s partner in 2018? That and more in our in-depth interview on this week’s SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter presented by Marriott Vacation Club Rentals.

Ross has become the icon of the women’s side of professional beach volleyball.

Her list of accomplishments includes: A Gatorade national player-of-the-year award at Newport Harbor High School, two national championships at USC (where she never even planned on playing, but more on that in Part 2), a two-year stretch with partner Jen Kessy between 2008-2010 in which she medaled in 17 of 20 FIVB events, an undefeated AVP season in 2014 with Kerri Walsh-Jennings, two Olympics medals — one silver, one bronze.

And every time Ross thinks it’s time to unwind, to relax, to maybe, just maybe, not hit the weight room or the sand, well, there’s always another mountain to climb.

“It’s so hard. It’s so hard. What I find happens is I convince myself to find that balance a little bit and not stress about it and not work so hard,” she said. “And then I’ll go to a competition, underperform, and I’m like ‘F this! I’m going to home, step it up. I’m not training hard enough, not focused hard enough. If you just want to win that bad –- it’s so hard to take a step back and find that balance.”

This season was, as Ross describes it on SANDCAST, full of “hiccups.” A last-minute breakup with Walsh-Jennings, with whom Ross won a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic Games, along with a toe injury that had more of an effect that she realized until she watched video of her approach, made for a mercurial year, though certainly not a bad one — not by most standards, anyway.

But Ross is not most athletes.

She still won two AVP tournaments, in Austin split-blocking with Whitney Pavlik, and in New York defending for Lauren Fendrick. She still made the World Championship finals in Vienna, pushing the 2016 Olympic gold medalists Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst to three sets.

And now one of those hiccups –- having a constantly-changing partner situation – is resolved for the upcoming 2018 season.

“It was really hard to figure out what to do,” Ross said. “There weren’t many chances to compete and to try people out. It came down to really intangible things. I decided to go with …”

Listen now. And Part 2 with April Ross will be here next Wednesday at VolleyballMag.com!

Where to find April Ross
Instagram: @aprilrossbeach

Twitter: @AprilRossBeach

Website: AprilRossBeach.com

Previously on SANDCAST:
SANDCAST 4: Introducing the newest American defender, Chaim Schalk
SANDCAST 3: It’s finally video game season for Kelly Claes
SANDCAST 2: Ryan Doherty, the Most Interesting Man in Beach Volleyball
SANDCAST 1: The new Tri Bourne: Buddha Tri Bourne

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