HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA — April Ross was on the beach last weekend for AVP Huntington Beach, albeit in a different outfit (shirt, leggings, no two-piece swimsuit), different gear (locker, no Wilson volleyball) and a different role:
Coaching finalists Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles.
It wasn’t just a sudden and newfound passion for coaching that brought Ross aside, but the addition of a new man.
Yes, April Ross is pregnant.
“I’ve been working on the project for a while,” Ross wrote on Instagram, “and I’m thrilled to announce we’re expanding our family!”
Her baby is due in October.
Regarding volleyball, she spoke to Phil Collin of VolleyballMag.com over the weekend in Huntington Beach:
“I’d like to come back and play someday. I would start with AVP. Right now I don’t have much desire to go back and chase the Olympics, but if I come back and the situation is good and I feel I’m playing well at AVP, I wouldn’t rule it out.
“I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do in my career, so if I’m playing from now on, I just want it to be a fun, good journey and a game with someone I enjoy playing with. I have no idea who I could play with or anything like that. It just develops that way.”
Not that Ross is pressuring him to keep playing. As the only beach athlete with an Olympic medal in all three colors – silver in London in 2012, bronze in Rio in 2016, gold in Tokyo in 2021 – she has nothing left to achieve or prove to anyone, including herself.
“Since I left and train, I enjoy doing it and I get a lot of fulfillment from it,” said Ross. “I thought I hated coaching. I don’t know. I kind of pulled away from the game and thought, “Well, what am I going to do with the rest of my life?” I always wanted to go back to school, I knew Concordia had a really good coaching program and decided to jump into school and they wanted me to assist with their beach program. It was a great experience.
“I just suggested to Betsi and Julia, ‘Hey, if you need help with your exercises here and there, I’m around if you want it in the fall. I helped them a bit before Australia and then in the winter and spring, they contacted me and asked if I was interested in coaching them full time. I said, “Yeah, let’s try.” And it was fun.
Ross joins a growing list of beach volleyball players who are pregnant or have just given birth. Delaney Mewhirter — and VBM beach editor Travis Mewhirter — had a son, Austin, in mid-April. A week later, Mark Burik welcomed his daughter Mackenzie into his home. Kendra Van Zwieten, Sheila Shaw, Emily Day and Alix Klineman, Rossa gold medalist from Tokyo, are currently pregnant.
The only top tier AVP Pro who is a mom is Betsi Flint.