Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross end partnership
Walsh Jennings rejects AVP exclusivity contract
Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings is now in search of a new partner — and a new beach volleyball tour — after rejecting a 4-year exclusivity agreement with the AVP that would have locked her into the circuit through the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
On her Facebook page she explained her reasons last Thursday and stated that the proposed deal lacked the vision to grow the game.
“We’re being kept in a small little fishbowl,” Walsh Jennings told the AP. “I know our sport deserves more. We’ve been told we’re small, and we believe it.” The AVP declined to respond to the comments.
Her decision to opt out of the AVP tour also means Walsh Jennings will split with April Ross, her partner in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics where they won the Olympic bronze medal. Ross is now going to play with Whitney Pavlik.
Walsh Jennings said she was disappointed the partnership had to end. Asked if the two could get back together she said, “April and I are finished. We’re not competing together anymore. I have a ton of respect for April,” she said. “I just have a different vision for the future.”
And, she said, she couldn’t bring herself to sign a deal that would hold the sport back. “I want to believe in what I’m doing,” she said. “I believe in what I’m doing much more than if I had signed this contract.”
Walsh Jennings and Ross last played on opposite sides of the net internationally at the 2012 London Olympic final between Walsh Jennings/ May-Treanor and Ross/ Kessy.
Despite the recent development, Walsh Jennings is still planning to run for gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.