Get to Know 6 of the Top U.S. Women in Volleyball History

Stars of the Sport—Beach and Indoor

In volleyball's 100-plus year history, there have been many amazing American athletes who have made an impact on the game. Any list of the top players is subjective, but here are six who would qualify for just about any list of the best American women in volleyball history.

Kerri Walsh Jennings
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Kerri Walsh Jennings is one of the greatest women's volleyball players in the history of the sport. She played indoor volleyball at Stanford but later moved to the beach game. She is a four-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist. She and her long-time partner Misty May-Treanor made history with their winning streaks and their success on the domestic and international stages. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Jennings partnered with April Ross for bronze medal. More »

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Misty May-Treanor

Misty May-Treanor
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Misty May-Treanor is one of the top women's volleyball players in the history of the sport. She played indoor volleyball at Long Beach State but later moved to the beach game. She is a four-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist. In both the 2004 and 2008 Games, she was named Most Outstanding Player in women’s beach volleyball. She and her long-time partner Kerri Walsh Jennings made history with their success on the domestic and international stages. May-Treanor retired following the 2012 London Olympics and took the head coach position at the Long Beach City College, running both the indoor and beach women's programs.

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Tara Cross-Battle

Tara Cross-Battle
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Tara Cross-Battle is one of only a few four-time Olympians in indoor volleyball. She played the outside hitter position for Team USA and was one of the best players in the world. Cross-Battle was known for her all-around skills as a good passer who was responsible for a large part of the serve receive formation. She was a world-class hitter who was an enormous part of the offense for the Americans. She was a member of the bronze medal-winning USA women’s team at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. She was enshrined in the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Nina Matthies

Nina Matthies is one of the winningest female beach volleyball players of all-time. She is also largely responsible for the start of the first women’s professional beach volleyball tour, the WPVA. For 31 years, she ​has been the head coach of the women’s indoor team at Pepperdine University, amassing 590 wins before retiring in 2013, but she continued to coach the women’s sand team until her retirement in 2018.

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Kathy Gregory

Kathy Gregory had one of the longest and most successful careers in women's beach volleyball history. Over nearly 30 years, Gregory competed at the highest levels and became the senior-most woman ever to earn a AAA rating, the highest player rating. Gregory coached the women's program at UC Santa Barbara until 2013 and logged over 800 wins in her 38 years there. She was inducted in the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1989.

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Flo Hyman

Flo Hyman - USA Women's Volleyball
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Flo Hyman was best known for her powerful attacks and her graceful leadership by example. She joined the national team in 1974. The team failed to qualify in 1976 and USA boycotted the 1980 Olympics. Hymen and her teammates did get a chance to compete in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and won the silver medal, the first Olympic medal ever for women's volleyball. She played professionally in Japan, where she was immensely popular, before collapsing on the bench and dying in 1986. She was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988.