Misty Elizabeth May-Treanor (born July 30, 1977) is an American professional beach volleyball player best known for playing with Kerri Walsh. She is a two-time gold medalist, and currently the most successful female beach volleyball player with 110 individual championship wins in domestic and international competition.
Misty May was born in Los Angeles, California in 1977 to Barbara and Butch May. She grew up playing beach volleyball at the Santa Monica Pier with her parents, and played in her first volleyball tournament at age eight with her father. May-Treanor also played soccer and tennis, as well as participating in dance. She attended primary school at Brightwood Elementary School in Monterey Park.
During high school, May-Treanor lived in Costa Mesa, California and attended Newport Harbor High School from 1991 through 1995. There, she helped her team win two state championships in indoor volleyball in 1992 and 1994.
In 1993, May-Treanor was named the Division I All-CIF team Player of the Year. In 1994, she was named by USA Today as the best girl's volleyball player in the nation.
She also participated on the track and field team, excelling in the high jump. In 1993 she finished second to future heptathlete Tracye Lawyer at the CIF California State Meet.
May-Treanor played volleyball for the Long Beach State 49ers from 1995 to 1999. The 1998 team that May-Treanor captained 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, including the Honda-Broderick Cup in 1998, and back-to-back Player of the Year awards in 1997 and 1998.
As the starting setter in 1998, Misty May-Treanor led the Long Beach State 49ers to a Division I NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship with an unprecedented 36–0 record. She shared the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player award after setting a tournament record with 20 service aces.
1999–2000: Early career with Holly McPeakEdit
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.
2001 to Beijing 2008: Dominance with partner Kerri WalshEdit
After completing the 2000 season with McPeak, May-Treanor's volleyball destiny unfolded after she teamed up with a new partner, Kerri Walsh. Rather than play on the newly-reformed AVP tour, the duo spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons gaining valuable experience competing on the international FIVB tour. They won their first FIVB tour championship 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.
For nearly the entire period from their initial partnering in 2001, to their respective hiatuses in late 2008, May-Treanor and Walsh 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.
Following their gold medal victory at the Beijing Olympics, May-Treanor and Walsh returned to the 2008 AVP Tour. Their win streak of 112 matches was broken with an upset victory by fellow 2008 Olympians Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs at the AVP Shootout in Cincinnati, Ohio. May-Treanor and Walsh lost again on September 7, falling to April Ross and Jennifer Kessy in the semifinals of an AVP tournament in Santa Barbara, California, marking the first time since April 2007 that the duo missed reaching an AVP tour final.
May-Treanor played much of her 2002 season with a torn PCL before undergoing surgery that September.
Soon after winning her gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, May-Treanor ruptured her achilles tendon during dance practice for a performance on the show Dancing with the Stars. It was successfully repaired, though she would not return to competition for nearly a year.
May-Treanor was a member of the women's volleyball coaching staff at Irvine Valley College beginning in 2001, though she is no longer listed as a staff member. IVC head coach, Tom Pestolesi, was Misty's high school volleyball coach.
Hobbled by an abdominal injury in her first Olympics, May-Treanor finished fifth with partner Holly McPeak in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Riding a 90-match win streak, May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh continued their winning ways through the 2004 Summer Olympics. In semifinal play, the pair defeated fellow Americans — and May-Treanor's former partner — Holly McPeak and partner Elaine Youngs. May-Treanor and Walsh defeated Brazil in the championship match to win the gold medal. The duo did not lose a single set in all seven matches.
On August 21, May-Treanor and Walsh repeated as Olympic gold medalists, defeating the first-seeded Chinese team in two games. They are the only beach volleyball team to repeat as gold medalists. May-Treanor was named the Most Outstanding Player for the women’s competition.
May-Treanor and Walsh are competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In the preliminary round, they extended their Olympic winning streak to 32 consecutive sets without a loss with wins over Australia and the Czech Republic. The streak came to an end when they lost their first set to the Schwaiger sisters from Austria; May-Treanor and Walsh went on to win the match 17–21, 21–8, 15–10. May-Treanor and Walsh swept all of their remaining matches in winning their second consecutive gold medals.
May-Treanor is the daughter of Bob "Butch" May, a member of the 1968 United States men's national volleyball team, and Barbara May, a nationally ranked tennis player. A prominent tattoo on May-Treanor's shoulder — an angel with the initials "B.M." — is a dedication to her mother, who died of cancer in 2002.
In January 2004, May-Treanor began dating baseball player Matt Treanor; the two wed in November 2004.
She has two brothers, Brack and Scott. May-Treanor's first cousin is tennis player Taylor Dent.
May-Treanor is listed as currently residing in Coral Springs, Florida, though she and her husband also own a home in Long Beach, California. She serves as a Sports Ambassador for Special Olympics Southern California and previously served on the Board of Governors.
Awards and honorsEdit
Big West ConferenceEdit
May's honors in the Big West Conference include:
- Big West Conference Freshman of the Year 1995
- All-Big West First Team 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
- Big West Player of the Year 1996, 1997, 1998
- Big West Player of the Week – 6 times
- NCAA Division I First Team All-American 1997, 1998
- American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year 1997, 1998
- Honda-Broderick Cup 1998
- AVP Best Defensive Player 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,2006, 2007, 2008
- AVP Best Offensive Player 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
- AVP Crocs Cup Champion 2006 (Kerri Walsh), 2007 (Kerri Walsh), 2008 (Kerri Walsh)
- AVP Most Valuable Player 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
- AVP Team of the Year 2003 (Kerri Walsh), 2004 (Kerri Walsh), 2005 (Kerri Walsh), 2006 (Kerri Walsh), 2007 (Kerri Walsh), 2008 (Kerri Walsh)
- FIVB Best Defensive Player 2007, 2008
- FIVB Best Offensive Player 2005, 2007, 2008
- FIVB Best Setter 2005
- FIVB Most Outstanding 2005, 2008
- FIVB Sportsperson 2007, 2008
- FIVB Tour Champion 2002 (Kerri Walsh)
- BVA Rookie of the Year 2000
- Most women's career tournament victories: 110
- Most women's career earnings: $2,077,083
- Most women's international career wins: 41
- 2004 and 2006 — Sportswoman of the Year Award (with Kerri Walsh)
TV and film appearancesEdit
May-Treanor has made numerous minor television appearances, including Dancing with the Stars and the Late Show with David Letterman.
In 2008, May-Treanor competed in Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 7) with partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. May-Treanor ruptured her Achilles tendon during a training session for the show, and was consequently forced to withdraw from the competition.
May-Treanor also appeared in an episode of the Disney series Wizards of Waverly Place as herself.