L.A. native Misty May has given face to beach volleyball

PRO ATHLETE PICK: Pro beach volleyballer Misty May has won two gold medals at the Summer Olympics.


Pro beach volleyballer Misty May celebrates after winning the gold medal match at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Her performances in the past two Summer Olympics have done much to increase interest in the sport. | AP

Tyler Stewart, Writer

With spring break and warmer weather fast approaching comes another season of beach volleyball and more Misty May victories. Misty May is one half of a dynamic volleyball duo along with with Kerri Walsh as the other half.

Misty May was born in Los Angeles, Calif., where she grew up playing volleyball on the beaches. After many years of playing with her family, she joined her high school’s volleyball team in 1991, where she earned the Division-I All CIF player of the year award and was named the best high school female volleyball player in the nation her senior year.

May went on to play college volleyball at Long Beach State, becoming one of the best setters in the game. In her senior year, she was able to capture a title, leading the 49ers to a win over Penn State in the 1998 NCAA Championship.

After graduating from college and a short stint with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball team, she shifted her focus to pursue a career in beach volleyball and teamed up with Holly McPeak. The two played well together and were able to earn a spot in the 2000 Summer Olympics, where they placed fifth.

The next year, Misty May teamed up with the 6-foot-1 inch Kerri Walsh, dominating the FIVB league for the next two years until they signed with the AVP in 2003, where they earned Team of the Year honors and went undefeated with an amazing 39-0 record.

In 2004, the pair went on to capture a gold medal in the Summer Olympics. They were able to earn two more gold medals in 2005 and 2007, and Misty May became the all-time earnings leader.

In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, May and Walsh defended their title against the Chinese team and earned yet another gold medal.

May is changing things up thus summer, teaming with Nicole Branagh, as Kerri Walsh will be giving birth to her second child. Misty May has her work cut out for her as she learns to play with a new partner and tries to continue her supremacy in the volleyball realm.

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