Kerri Walsh Jennings

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Kerri Walsh Jennings
Grand Slam Moscow 2012, Set 3 - 011.jpg
Walsh in Moscow on June 11, 2012
Personal information
Full name Kerri Lee Walsh Jennings
Nickname Six Feet of Sunshine
Nationality American
Born (1978-08-15) August 15, 1978 (age 37)
Santa Clara, California
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 71 kg (157 lb)
Beach volleyball information
Previous teammates
Years Teammate
2013–present
2011–2012
2010
2001–2009
April Ross
Misty May
Nicole Branagh
Misty May

Kerri Lee Walsh Jennings (born August 15, 1978) is an American professional beach volleyball player.

Walsh Jennings and teammate Misty May-Treanor were the gold medalists in beach volleyball at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. They have been called "the greatest beach volleyball team of all time."[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Walsh was born in Santa Clara, California, the daughter of Margery Lee (née Formico) and Timothy Joseph Walsh. Walsh grew up in Scotts Valley, 6 miles north of Santa Cruz. She attended grade school there until the end of her middle school years. Before beginning high school her family moved to San Jose on the central California coast. Walsh attended Archbishop Mitty High School, competing on the volleyball and basketball teams. She led her school's teams to three state championships in volleyball, in 1993, 1994 and 1995. She also led her school's basketball team to a state championship in 1995. She was named Gatorade National High School Volleyball Player of the Year in 1996, the first time the award was given. While in high school she competed against her future beach doubles partner, Misty May-Treanor.[3]

College[edit]

Walsh attended Stanford University on a volleyball scholarship. While there she was selected as a first-team All-American four years in a row, becoming only the second player in the history of collegiate volleyball to be chosen first team all four years of their collegiate careers.[4] While at Stanford her school's volleyball team won over 90% of its matches, posting a 122-11 overall record. The Cardinal won four Pac-10 titles and three times reached the NCAA Final Four, winning the title in 1996 and 1997, and falling to Penn State in the championship game in her senior year in 1999. She was selected as the MVP of the Final Four in 1996,[5] and was co-National Player of the Year in 1999.[6] She graduated from Stanford in 2000 with a B.A. in American studies.

Professional career[edit]

Walsh (right) at Grand Slam Moscow, 2012

Walsh Jennings plays professional beach volleyball on the U.S. AVP Tour and internationally on the FIVB World Tour. For most of her career she played with partner Misty May Treanor, forming one of the most successful beach pairings in AVP history. May and Walsh formed a partnership on the beach circuit in 2001, finishing the season with the number five ranking in the world. In 2002 the team reached the number one ranking. They continued their dominance in 2003, winning all eight tournaments they entered and a then-record 90 straight matches, including the world championships where they upset the defending world champions from Brazil in the final.[7]

In 2008 May-Treanor and Walsh extended a winning streak to 112 matches before losing to Olympic teammates Elaine Youngs and Nicole Branagh in the AVP Crocs Cup Shootout in Ohio. To that point the pair had won 19 straight titles.[7]

Following the retirement of partner Misty May Treanor in 2012, Walsh teamed with April Ross. She went on to break the career record for most wins by a female professional volleyball player when she won the FIVB Grand Slam in Xiamen, China. The win gave Walsh the 113th title of her career, breaking the old mark set by her former partner Misty May-Treanor.[8] Walsh Jennings and Ross won 21-14, 17-21, 15-12 over the Brazilian pair of Taiana Lima and Talita Da Rocha Antunes. It was the Americans' third title in five events since joining forces.

Walsh Jennings topped $1 million in career earnings on July 23, 2006.[9]

Olympic games[edit]

Sydney 2000[edit]

Walsh played in the 2000 Summer Olympics on the U.S. women's indoor team, earning a fourth-place finish. She missed several of her first games due to a false positive on a drug test, which indicated a suspicious epitestosterone to testosterone ratio. After being retested, Walsh was cleared of any wrongdoing and allowed to continue playing.[10]

Athens 2004[edit]

At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Walsh and Misty May-Treanor won the gold medal in women's beach volleyball without losing a single set.

Beijing 2008[edit]

U.S. President George W. Bush visits Walsh-Jennings and May-Treanor while at the 2008 Olympics.

On August 21, 2008 Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor repeated as Olympic gold medalists, defeating the first-seeded Chinese team in the final match (they would have been first-seeded, but home rule put them in the #2 spot with China as the #1). May-Treanor and Walsh did not lose a set in either of the past two Olympics. Their final match extended their unbeaten streak to 108 matches.

London 2012[edit]

Walsh and May-Treanor competed together for the last time in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. After first and second round wins, they continued their Olympic win streak of 32 consecutive sets without a loss until losing the first set of three to Austria in a preliminary round before ultimately winning the match, 17–21; 21–8; 15–10.[11] They went on to defeat fellow Americans Jen Kessy and April Ross, 21–16, 21–16 on August 8, 2012 to win the gold medal once again.

Media appearances[edit]

In February 2006, Walsh Jennings had a guest-starring role in an episode of CSI: Miami along with several other AVP Volleyball players.[12]

Walsh Jennings hosts a weekly, one-hour radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio's Faction 28 station. It airs every Sunday morning at 9 AM Eastern time.

Walsh Jennings appeared in the Game Show Network television show Extreme Dodgeball. She was a member of the Detroit Spoilers, who lost all ten games they played.

Walsh Jennings also appeared alongside her volleyball partner Misty May-Treanor on the show Shaq Vs. in August 2009.

She also posed nude, both before and after giving birth, for the 2013 ESPN "Body Issue".[13]

Personal life[edit]

Walsh is married to fellow American pro beach-volleyball player Casey Jennings. Together, they have two sons and a daughter, Joseph Michael (born May 22, 2009), Sundance Thomas (born May 19, 2010) and Scout Margery (born April 6, 2013).[14] Walsh was five weeks pregnant during the 2012 London Summer Olympics.[15] Doctors have confirmed that Walsh did not put herself or the baby in danger when she was competing at the Olympics.[16]

Walsh trained on the sand split between Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles, California, and from 2002 did additional training in the gym at O.C. Fast-Twitch with trainer Tommy Knox.

Awards and honors[edit]

Walsh (left) with Misty May-Treanor, 2005
  • AVP Best Offensive Player (1): 2003
  • AVP Crocs Cup Champion (3): 2006–2008 (all with Misty May-Treanor)
  • AVP Most Valuable Player (2): 2003–2004
  • AVP Team of the Year (6): 2003–2008 (all with Misty May-Treanor)
  • AVP Best Defensive Player (Blocker) (1): 2008
  • FIVB Best Blocker (4): 2005–2008
  • FIVB Best Hitter (3): 2005–2007
  • FIVB Best Offensive Player (1): 2007
  • FIVB Most Outstanding (1): 2007
  • FIVB Sportsperson (4): 2005–2008
  • FIVB Tour Champion (1): 2002 (Misty May-Treanor)[17]
  • Sportswoman of the Year Award (2): 2004 and 2006 (with Misty May-Treanor)[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ackerman, Jon. "Best of 2000s: Team of the Decade – Misty May/Kerri Walsh". Universal Sports. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Meet Team USA: Women's Beach Volleyball". Harpo Productions, Inc. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Top U.S. athletes to watch at Beijing Games". ESPN. August 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Kerri Walsh And Logan Tom Named To The USA Women's Volleyball National Training Team". January 19, 2000. Retrieved March 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Top seeded Stanford beats Hawaii". Stanford.com. December 21, 1996. Retrieved March 20, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Bio: Kerri Walsh Jennings". Volleyball Magazine. Retrieved March 20, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b DiGiacomo, Paul. "Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Kerri Walsh Jennings breaks record". October 28, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Volleyball enriches a few as popularity spikes". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. July 9, 2006. p. B2. 
  10. ^ Eule, Brian (July–August 2004). "On to Athens". STANFORD Magazing. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (July 13, 2012). "London 2012: Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor at the last minute changed events to speeding walking. Not favored to win, surprising the two tied for gold.". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ IMDB Filmography
  13. ^ http://espn.go.com/espn/photos/gallery/_/id/9428872/image/30/kerri-walsh-jennings-2013-body-issue-bodies-want-espn-magazine
  14. ^ "Kerri Walsh Jennings: Why We Chose the Name Scout Margery". People. April 9, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings: I was pregnant at the Olympics". Today.com. September 24, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Volleyballer Kerri Walsh Jennings pregnant at Olympics". USA Today. September 24, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Bio Kerri Walsh Jennings". Beach Volleyball Database. Retrieved March 20, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Sportswoman of the Year Award". Women's Sports Foundation. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
 Adriana Behar
and Shelda Bede (BRA)
Women's FIVB Beach World Tour Winner
alongside United States Misty May-Treanor

2002
Succeeded by
 Sandra Pires and
Ana Paula Connelly (BRA)
Awards
Preceded by
Inaugural
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Blocker"
2005–2008
Succeeded by
 Juliana Silva (BRA)
Preceded by
 Juliana Silva (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Blocker"
2011–2012
Succeeded by
 Talita Antunes (BRA)
Preceded by
 Talita Antunes (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Blocker"
2014
Succeeded by
 Sarah Pavan (CAN)
Preceded by
Inaugural
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Hitter"
2005–2007
Succeeded by
 Larissa França (BRA)
Preceded by
 April Ross (USA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Hitter"
2012
Succeeded by
 Talita Antunes (BRA)
Preceded by
 Juliana Silva (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Attacker"
alongside United States Misty May-Treanor

2007
Succeeded by
 Misty May-Treanor (USA)
Preceded by
 Talita Antunes (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Best Attacker"
2014
Succeeded by
 Larissa França (BRA)
Preceded by
 Denise Johns (GBR)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Most Inspirational"
2011–2012
Succeeded by
 Laura Ludwig (GER)
Preceded by
 Laura Ludwig (GER)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Most Inspirational"
2014
Succeeded by
 Pata Miller (VAN)
Preceded by
 Larissa França (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Most Outstanding"
2007
Succeeded by
 Misty May-Treanor (USA)
 Zhang Xi (CHN)
Preceded by
 Juliana Silva (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Most Outstanding"
2012–2014
Succeeded by
 Larissa França (BRA)
Preceded by
Inaugural
Women's FIVB World Tour "Sportsperson"
2005–2008
Succeeded by
 Shelda Bede (BRA)
Preceded by
 Juliana Silva (BRA)
Women's FIVB World Tour "Sportsperson"
2012
Succeeded by
 Taiana Lima (BRA)