Olympic beach gold medalist May-Treanor is back on the sand

Olympic beach gold medalist May-Treanor is back on the sand

For three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor, returning to the AVP tour for one event only has been more of a reunion than a comeback.

Playing on the domestic beach volleyball tour she once dominated, May-Treanor was surprised by all the changes she found since she last competed there in 2010. Among the biggest: Many of the athletes she once played against are now mothers, like May-Treanor herself.

“It was kind of a rarity back in the day,” said May-Treanor, who has a 14-month-old daughter, Malia, with her husband, former major league catcher Matt Treanor. “It’s nice to see that moms can get out here and compete.”

May-Treanor is one of the most successful players in beach volleyball history, winning three Olympic titles with Kerri Walsh Jennings and 112 consecutive matches leading to the Beijing Games – breaking their record of 89 in a row in the run-up to Athens. The AVP ran out of money in 2010 and shut down; it was eventually bought by Southern California businessman Donald Sun.

May-Treanor was focused then on the international tour, where players earn points to qualify for the Olympics.

“Donald is doing a great job,” she said. “This is the first one I’m at. He’s player-friendly.”

May-Treanor retired after the London Games and competed on “Dancing with the Stars,” but had to withdraw when she tore her Achilles tendon. Walsh Jennings, recovering from a shoulder injury, is trying to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Games with London silver medalist April Ross.

May-Treanor’s life is now “mom first,” raising her daughter and also running coaching clinics.

That changed when Brittany Hochevar, a fellow Long Beach State alum, asked her to play at the AVP event in New York in July. May-Treanor had a clinic that she couldn’t skip, but she said she would play if Hochevar still needed a partner for Seattle.

But it’s a favor, not a comeback.

“She’s been kind of left out of the mix. It stinks when you’re kind of in that spot,” May-Treanor said of the partner shuffling that takes place because of injuries or teams trying to find the right chemistry. “It’s tough being that player that’s out. She’s so pumped for this sport.”

Seattle also was attractive for May-Treanor because she has relatives in the area who haven’t met her daughter. So she brought the baby along; her husband had to stay behind for jury duty.

The new team, seeded 11th, beat sixth-seeded Ali McColloch and Emily Stockman 21-15, 21-19 in the opening round, then dispatched third-seeded Lane Carico and Summer Ross 15-21, 23-21, 15-10 in Friday’s second round.

They were scheduled to play second-seeded Emily Day and Olympic silver medalist Jen Kessy in a quarterfinal Saturday. The finals are Sunday on the shores of Lake Sammamish outside Seattle.

May-Treanor rejected the suggestion that she’s treated like royalty by the current players, who grew up watching her. But there is a difference this time.

“A lot of the older faces are gone. There’s very few familiar faces I know,” she said. “The players are like, ‘Hey it’s nice to see you,’ and that makes you feel good. Whether I was playing or just out to watch, it’s fun to see people.”

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s