Olympic Stories

Misty May-Treanor - Volleyball

Misty May-Treanor - Volleyball

Born on July 30, 1977 in Los Angeles, California, USA, Misty May-Treanor is a professional volleyball player and is considered the greatest to ever play the sport, man or woman. With 107 career victories, she is far and away the wins leader for the female side of the sport, and along with her teammate Kerri Walsh, Misty has dominated volleyball on every level, from the beach to the indoor arena. She will represent the USA in the Olympics for the third time this summer in London.

Misty’s partner Walsh is an equally talented player, towering above most other female players in height and in arm reach. Together they are the most dominant team in the world and have been for nearly a decade. The duo single-handedly resurrected the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), and now at 34 years of age, this may be May-Treanor’s last chance to win more Olympic Gold.

Sporting Career

Misty May-Treanor was a very talented player while in college at Long Beach State, so much so that beach volleyball legend Holly McPeak selected Misty to play with her on the AVP tour in 1999 while she was still in college. Shortly after graduating, the National Championship-winning May-Treanor (then only May) joined the US Women’s National Volleyball Team. However, the constant training and seriousness of the team sucked the fun out of it and Misty quit abruptly.

Misty joined forces with McPeak again and sought a career in beach volleyball. Misty and Holly would play in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, but they would finish a disappointing 5th. McPeak was getting older and no longer had the stamina to play, so May-Treanor then teamed up with young phenom Kerri Walsh. While they avoided playing in the AVP, they dominated the FIVB tour, winning the championship in 2002. They would sign up with the AVP in 2003, and the dominance thus began.

Prior to playing for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics, May-Treanor/Walsh had an unprecedented win streak going: 101 regular matches and 18 tournament wins. They were the most dominant force beach volleyball had ever seen, and they took that dominance to Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, easily winning Olympic Gold both times.

The dominance of the duo isn’t as mythical as it once was. Elaine Youngs and Nicole Branagh, another solid team, beat the duo in 2008 and broke their impressive win streak. Since then, May-Treanor has proven to be a mortal after all. Even still, they are statistically the best team in professional women’s beach volleyball by a wide margin. In international tournaments, the Brazilians have had their number for a few matches, but May-Treanor/Walsh are still the favorites in the 2012 Summer Games.

Career Highlights

  • Most Women’s Tournament Wins – 107
  • FIVB Best Defensive Player – 2007, 2008
  • FIVB Best Offensive Player – 2005, 2007, 2008
  • Sportswoman of the Year – 2004, 2006
  • 2004 Olympic Games – Gold
  • 2008 Olympic Games – Gold
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Gold

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