Kristen Nuss digs against Geena Urango and Toni Rodriguez/Mark Rigney photo

Friday marked the return of USA Olympic gold medalists April Ross and Alix Klineman to the AVP and the second-seeded new moms went 1-1 at the AVP Huntington Beach Heritage Series.

Ross and Klineman opened with a 21-15, 16-21, 15-8 victory over Devon Newberry and Jaden Whitmarsh, the No. 15 seeds who got through the qualifier, and then lost 21-15, 21-16 to 10th-seeded Kyle Deberg and Hailey Harward.

Ross and Klineman await the Saturday-morning winner of the match between Savvy Simo and Abby Van Winkle and Kim Hildreth and Teegan Van Gunst in the single-elimination contenders bracket.

“It’s crazy that it’s been 985 days since we’ve played on the AVP,” Klineman told the AVP. “It felt good to be out there, but we’re still getting our rhythm back. There are no easy matches anymore on the AVP. We’re trying to have no expectations and just do our best. At the end of the day, it’s not just about winning for us right now. It’s about coming back and playing in front of our friends and family and our sons.”

April Ross at AVP Huntington Beach/Rick Atwood photo

Added Ross: “Life is so much more balanced now, and it’s more fun to play with my family and Ross here to watch. I put on a lot of weight during pregnancy. I’ve been pushing myself on all fronts. Our training has ramped up. We are lifting and doing cardio like we used to, trying to build muscle and lose fat like professional athletes. It’s been a joy really, and I enjoy doing things that make me healthier. Coming back has been crucial for me to get back in shape.”

Klineman and Ross were the only one of the top four women’s seeds to lose. In Saturday’s winners bracket, top-seeded Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss play fourth-seeded Canadians Melissa Humana-Parades and Brandie Wilkerson and third-seeded Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes play Deberg and Harward. Kloth-Nuss (TKN) gave up just 46 points in their two easy victories.

On the men’s side, top-seeded Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander plays fifth-seeded Cody Caldwell and Seain Cook and third-seeded Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk face seventh-seeded Billy Allen and Paul Lotman.

Team Taylor swept twice.

Caldwell and Cook beat fourth-seeded Hagen Smith and Logan Webber 21-17, 21-18, and Allen and Lotman beat Jordan Hoppe and James Shaw, the No. 15 seed who got through the qualifier, 21-18, 13-21, 15-12. Second-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Avery Drost lost to Hoppe and Shaw 21-14, 21-19, and play 10th-seeded Kyle Friend and Tim Brewster in the contenders bracket.

Click here for the men’s results and schedule on and here for the women’s results and schedule on

Cick here for the brackets on

Alix Klineman watches April Ross during their return to the AVP/Mark Rigney photo


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