Beach volleyball at the Olympics will take place this summer without Misty May-Treanor for the first time since the sport debuted in 1996. And the three-time Olympic gold medalist won’t even be in Rio because she’ll be busy with a new job.
May-Treanor was announced Thursday as the new director of volleyball operations at Long Beach City College, where she will also be the head coach for the women’s indoor and beach teams. She starts the new position the first week of July.
“I really like the community college level,” May-Treanor told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “I love getting the players to move on to four-year schools; it’s rewarding.”
May-Treanor’s most recent coaching experience has been at four-year colleges. She joined the University of Southern California beach program as a volunteer assistant in 2013, and previously assisted the beach program at her alma mater, Long Beach State. She then took time off from coaching after giving birth to a daughter, Malia Barbara, in June 2014.
May-Treanor earned a master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University in May 2013, a degree she began pursuing while still competing worldwide with Kerri Walsh Jennings. Walsh Jennings will seek a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Rio with new partner April Ross.
“We are thrilled to have an athlete of Misty’s caliber lead our volleyball program,” LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley said in a statement. “She is an icon in her sport and a longtime Long Beach resident with deep roots in our community. She will serve as an inspiration to our students and a strong leader in our athletics department.”
May-Treanor, who has long lived in Long Beach with her husband, former major league baseball player Matt Treanor, has a tall task in front of her. The LBCC women’s volleyball team finished 7-17 last year and missed the playoffs.
But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.
She retired from her most recent match with a right thigh injury last week and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula and No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, are the best hopes to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seleswon the 1996 Australian Open.
But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.
Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.
Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.
Russian Daniil Medvedev, who lost in the French Open first round in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, is improved on clay. He won the Italian Open, the last top-level clay event before the French Open, and is the No. 2 seed ahead of Djokovic.
No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 16 Tommy Paul are the highest-seeded Americans, all looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.