- Published Date
- Written by Super User
- Category: Women
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Birthdate: Aug. 15, 1978
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Resides: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Height: 6’ 3"
BEST FINISH / WINNINGS
Domestic: 1st (65 times) $984,965.00
International: 1st (44 times) $1,068,920.00
Overall: 1st (109 times) $2,053,885.00
“Six feet of Sunshine”, Kerri Walsh-Jennings is considered one of the best female athletes ever to play beach volleyball. Since she first starting playing beach in 2001, Walsh and partner Misty May-Treanor have set the standard for what it takes to be the best in the sport, winning an unprecedented three-straight Olympic Gold Medals (2004, 2008, 2012). In 2012, competing together for the final time internationally, Walsh and May-Treanor dropped only one set during the London Olympics on their way to defeating fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in the gold medal match.
During the course of three Olympic games, that lone set in London is the only one they’ve ever dropped, having previously won 140 straight. Between 2003 and 2004, the duo put together one of the most impressive winning streaks in professional sports history; winning 89 straight matches on the AVP Tour and the international circuit. In 2007, her 20 wins (domestic and international) tied her with May-Treanor for the most wins in a single season. In 2008, the duo broke their own records by winning 112 matches in a row and 19 consecutive tournaments.
Walsh is a two-time AVP MVP (2003, 2004) and part of the Tour’s Team of the Year for five straight seasons (2004-08). She has also been named AVP Best Offensive Player in 2003. For the third straight season in 2007, she was chosen at the FIVB’s best hitter, best blocker and sportsperson in addition to collecting the Best Offensive and Most Outstanding Player awards.
Walsh captured the public’s attention in 2004 by bringing home a Gold Medal from the Athens Summer Games and soon afterwards started a stretch of 50 consecutive match victories. Walsh and May-Treanor have also secured the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships in 2003 (Rio de Janeiro), 2005 (Berlin) and 2007 (Gstaad) as well as a silver medal in Rome (2011).
In 2006, Walsh became the fourth American woman to surpass the $1 million in career earnings, accomplishing the feat while in Chicago. She and May-Treanor established the AVP team records for wins (13) and prize money ($408,800), while Walsh set the standard for season wins by an individual (14) and prize money ($242,650).
She led the AVP in both blocks and hitting percentage from 2005-07. She has been the top-ranked player each season she has played domestically. In Feb. 2007, Walsh won the individual exhibition event in Albany, N.Y.
Walsh comes to the beach with impeccable indoor credentials. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in American Studies. While there, she became only the second player in NCAA history to receive first-team All-American honors all four seasons (1996-99). She was also the first player in Pac-10 history to record 1,500 kills (1,553), 1,200 digs (1,285) and 500 blocks (502). Walsh is considered to be one of the best all-around players in collegiate history.
Before her successful transition to the beach, Walsh had a thriving indoor career where she was a member of the U.S. National team for two seasons (1999-2000) and was a right side hitter on the 2000 Olympic team, helping the team play in the medal round and finish fourth in Sydney.
Walsh is one of four children and grew up playing sports with brother Marte and sisters, Kelli and KC. She comes from an athletic background as her father played minor-league baseball for the Oakland A’s and her mother was a two-time volleyball MVP at Santa Clara. Marte played basketball at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, while Kelli played volleyball at Santa Clara and KC was a setter at Oregon State.
Walsh currently resides in Manhattan Beach, Calif. with her husband Casey Jennings, who also plays on the AVP Tour. The two were married on Dec. 4, 2005. Both players won in Seaside Heights in 2006, making them the second married couple to win on the same weekend, joining Mike and Patty Dodd, who accomplished the feat four times. Walsh and Jennings both won again in San Francisco in 2007. The couple has two sons, Joseph Michael (born May 22, 2009) and Sundance Thomas (born May 19, 2010) and welcomed their first daughter, Scout Margery, on April 6.