Tough for Misty May-Treanor to watch Kerri Walsh Jennings in Rio

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings
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RIO DE JANEIRO – Misty May-Treanor hasn’t watched either of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross’ first two primetime Olympic matches, but she has a good reason – her 2-year-old daughter Malia.

“Eight o’clock is usually her bed time, so I’m reading to her and putting her down,” May-Treanor said in a phone interview Tuesday morning from her California home.

May-Treanor, who won gold with Walsh Jennings in 2004, 2008 and 2012 and then retired, is not competing at the Olympics for the first time since Atlanta 1996. She is not in Rio as a spectator, either.

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“I have new priorities now,” the 39-year-old said. “I have a full-time job. For me, my career has moved on. We did great things and accomplished great things, and now I’m hopefully taking my accomplishments elsewhere.”

That new role keeps her immersed in volleyball.

Last month, May-Treanor started as 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.

“It’s my goal to get [my players] to four-year schools, whether that’s D-1, D-2, D-3 or NAIA,” she said.

In 2015, May-Treanor returned to the AVP Tour to play for the first time in nearly three years and has reached the semifinals in all three of her starts. She doesn’t play regularly on tour, but has obliged friends who have called, seeking a partner for the week. She has no designs on returning to international competition.

May-Treanor said one of her knees hasn’t felt right since her last AVP outing in New Orleans in April.

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“I have a meeting with a doctor in a few weeks, I’m a good candidate for knee replacement, I was told,” she said. “If I get my knee healthy, it’s about being able to run around with Malia and my husband. Volleyball is secondary for me.”

Walsh Jennings and Ross are 2-0 so far and next play Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET in their pool-play finale. May-Treanor has a full-day conference on the West Coast on Wednesday.

She and Malia have taken to watching the Olympics together when they’ve had time – daytime beach volleyball, boxing, diving, swimming and weightlifting among the sports.

“It’s weird watching it from this point of view, but I told many people that what makes it fun is being able to watch a wide variety of sports,” she said. “When you’re at the Games, I think people forget we’re so focused on what we’re doing. You don’t have a lot of time to get to other venues.”