Holly McPeak, the first woman to break the $1 million mark in career earnings on the women’s pro volleyball circuit, knows a good team when she sees one and she’s got her eyes on knocking that team off their perch this weekend.
The U.S. Olympic-bound duo of Misty May and Kerri Walsh went undefeated last year and are hoping to make it two in a row on the young season this weekend as the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Series plays its second of 12 AVP tournament stops at Tempe Town Lake.
At the same time, McPeak, the 14-year veteran — known as the Karch Kiraly of the women’s volleyball tour— is one victory away from the all-time lead in career victories.
"They’re the best team in the world," said McPeak, a two-time Olympian who will turn 35 in May. "They’re young. They’re talented. They’re two of the best to ever come around in this sport. I’ve seen a lot and they’re two of the best."
May and Walsh have won 44 consecutive matches and will headline the three-day event that will feature more than 150 of the top competitors of both the men’s and women’s tours. They captured the first leg of the 12-tour season April 2-4 in Fort Lauderdale and the 360 points that goes along with a
tournament victory. McPeak and partner Elaine Youngs finished second with 324 points and it’s a good bet that the two teams will meet up again in Sunday’s title match.
"The goal is to remain undefeated," said Walsh, 25, who had a great college career at Stanford. Walsh comes from a family accomplished in athletics.
Her mother was a two-time most valuable player while playing volleyball at Santa Clara. Her dad played baseball in the Oakland A’s organization.
May led Long Beach to an undefeated NCAA title in 1998, one year after Walsh’s Stanford club knocked out Long Beach State.
"Misty and I work well together," Walsh said. "We have the same work ethic. We are in a zone together."
The men’s division is wide open, as seven teams have claimed the last 11 AVP crowns.