Friday, March 2, 2012

Misty May-Treanor

Misty Erie May-Treanor (born July 30, 1977) is an American professional volleyball player. She has won more tournaments than any other female player with 107 career wins.

May-Treanor and teammate Kerri Walsh were the gold medalists in beach volleyball at both the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. They have been called "the greatest beach volleyball team of all time".

May-Treanor played volleyball for the Long Beach State 49ers from 1995 to 1999. The 1998 team that May-Treanor was the captain of was the first women's NCAA volleyball team to have an undefeated season. She graduated with a BA in kinesiology/fitness in 2002 and was inducted into the Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

During her tenure there, she racked up numerous Big West Conference and NCAA awards and honors. In 1998, as the starting setter, Misty May-Treanor led the 49ers to a 36–0 record and helped them win the Division I NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship. Long Beach State became the first team to go undefeated in Division I NCAA Women's Volleyball History. In the championship game Long Beach State played Penn State, who was also undefeated entering the title match. Long Beach State won the first two games, Penn State squeaked out victories in games 3 and 4 setting up game 5. In game 5, Penn State stormed out to a 7–2 lead, but May-Treanor orchestrated one of the best comebacks in volleyball championship history, and led Long Beach State to a 15–12 win and a National Championship. She shared the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player award after setting a tournament record with 20 service aces.

In both 1997 and 1998, May-Treanor was also awarded:

NCAA Division I First Team All-American
NCAA Player of the Year

She also received the Honda-Broderick Cup as the top female college athlete in 1998. May-Treanor was voted as one of the top 6 players in NCAA volleyball history in 2000, and she is one of only 3 players to win back to back Player of the Year awards.

1998–2000: Early career with Holly McPeak

May-Treanor played her first professional match on the AVP tour in May 1999, while still a college senior.

After graduation from Long Beach State, May-Treanor joined the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team in the summer of 1999, only to quit soon after because "volleyball was not fun anymore". Instead, she chose to pursue a beach volleyball career and teamed with Holly McPeak, a skilled beach player looking to win a medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics after a disappointing 5th in 1996 with partner Nancy Reno.

The pair played their first tournament together on the FIVB tour in Salvador, Brazil in November 1999. Seeded 22nd, McPeak/May-Treanor finished 9th.

Nearly a year behind in the Olympic qualification process, May-Treanor/McPeak found quick success in international as well as domestic play in the 2000 season. They won their first tournament together in April at a USAV event, followed by two wins on the FIVB tour, and one on the now-defunct BVA.

With three FIVB tournament wins and no finishes lower than 5th, the pair qualified for one of two US Olympic berths, paving their way to the Sydney Games. The duo, however, managed only a 5th place finish at Sydney.

After completing the 2000 season with McPeak, May-Treanor teamed up with Kerri Walsh. For two years, the pair avoided playing on the AVP tour, which had recently emerged from bankruptcy. Instead, the duo played on the international FIVB tour. They were the FIVB tour champions in 2002.

In 2003, May-Treanor and Walsh signed with the AVP. They received "Team of the Year" honors after having an undefeated season, going 39–0 in match victories with eight tournament wins.

Since teaming up, May-Treanor and Walsh have dominated both the AVP and FIVB beach volleyball tours. Before the start of the 2008 Olympics, they were riding a win streak of 101 matches and 18 tournaments that began in June 2007.

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