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Women's Beach Volleyball: Kerri Walsh Of Stanford Faces Jennifer Kessy & April Ross Of USC


When Kerri Walsh-Jennings along with her partner Misty May-Treanor take on Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in tonight's final in London, they'll not only be competing for history in trying to win three straight golds in beach volleyball, but it'll mean three of these four individuals will bring home more hardware for Pac-12 member schools.

Kerri Walsh hails from Stanford, a region where she was born from. It's where she made her name, helping the Cardinal to two national championships and making the All-American team all four years she was a member of the Cardinal. Walsh was also Final Four MVP in 1996 and co-National Player of the Year in 1999. Since then she's gone on to become a member of one of the greatest partnerships in sporting history, as Walsh and May have combined to win two gold medals and have only lost one set as a partnership through three Olympics.

Path to the gold: Won Pool C by beating Australia 2-0, Czech Republic 2-0, Austria 2-1 Beat Netherlands 2-0 in Round of 16, Italy 2-0 in Quarterfinals, China 2-0 in Semifinals

Going up against Walsh and May will be two USC Trojans. A Ross hails from Costa Mesa, and had just as notable a career as Walsh did at Stanford. She was the conference freshman of the year, then earned First Team All-American honors her junior and senior years, when she helped lead USC to back-to-back national championships. Ross spent a few years playing club volleyball overseas before making the transition to the beach, where she has had an incredible partnership with Kessy.

Kessy didn't have quite as prolific a college career. While she played plenty of volleyball in high school and as a member of the USC team, she only became an All-American in her final season with the Trojans. Kessy spent nearly seven years drifting from partner to partner before she settled on Ross, and ended up winning the 2009 World Championships, totalling over a million dollars in prize money for their efforts.

Path to the gold: Beat Argentina 2-0, Netherlands 2-1, Spain 2-1, Switzerland 2-0, Czech Republic 2-0, Brazil 2-1

Whoever wins, the Pac-12 wins.