Walsh dancing solo at Glendale volleyball event - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Walsh dancing solo at Glendale volleyball event

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Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:01 am | Updated: 12:05 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Don't expect to see beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh dancing anywhere but on the sand court after a victory.

As her teammate, Misty May-Treanor prepares for an appearance on "Dancing with the Stars," Walsh will be at Glendale's Westgate City Center today and Saturday, battling for the Best of the Beach title.

After winning their second consecutive beach volleyball gold medal a month ago in Beijing, Walsh and May-Treanor are splitting for the last AVP tournament of the season.

Walsh isn't worried about the absence of her playing partner at the final stop of the AVP Crocs tour.

"Throughout the season (Misty's) worked her butt off and she has this huge adventure she's accomplishing right now," Walsh said. "I have one tournament with a different partner, and that's nothing."

Although Walsh will be playing with a new partner, the tournament is not a team event.

The top 12 ranked men and women will play in a round-robin format in pools of four and continue to switch pools while also switching partners.

Walsh said it's a specialty event, "The format's different, so it's a lot less pressure but it's very, very challenging because you're playing against people you haven't played against."

Less than a week after Walsh and May-Treanor returned from Beijing, they flew to Cincinnati to compete in the AVP Crocs Cup Shootout.

In Cincinnati, they faced third-ranked Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs in the finals. Walsh and May lost 21-19, 10-21, 25-23, breaking their 112-game winning streak.

"We were up 13-1 in the final," Walsh lamented. "We had to score two more points to win and we didn't do that.

"Like 90 out of 101 times we (win). And then next weekend was the same deal, we got a big lead and we just didn't close the door."

Walsh and May-Treanor lost the next weekend in the AVP event in Santa Barbara, Calif., in the semifinals to Jennifer Boss and April Ross, 21-18, 15-21, 20-18.

Walsh said adjusting to the 15-hour time difference, as well as all the attention from their Olympic victory, affected their preparation and play.

"The amazing reception we received and all the hoopla; going on Letterman and Oprah and Ellen (DeGeneres), all these things that are so not normal," she said. "It just takes so much out of you because you're so excited and so nervous and you're just pulled in so many directions.

"This was probably the hard part and it made the jet lag seem so much worse," she said.

Walsh and May-Treanor bounced back Sunday and won the prestigious AVP Manhattan Beach Open.

"It would've been really sad to not win the last event because you know, it's just a buzzkill," she said.

After Glendale, Walsh will wrap up her record-breaking season and play with Nicole Branagh in Dubai.

Then, Walsh said, she will get to rest. Finally,

After Dubai she is going to vacation with her husband, pro beach volleyball player Casey Jennings, and spend time with family over the holidays.

One thing Walsh will not being doing is following May-Treanor's footsteps on the dance floor.

Walsh was in the "Dancing with the Stars" audience Monday night cheering her teammate on, but said she would "never" participate.

Even after "Dancing with the Stars," May-Treanor and Walsh say they may not return to the sand. They want to take a shot at motherhood instead.

"I've never had a child before and so I don't know what to expect," May-Treanor said in a recent interview with USA Today. "Priorities change, you know?"

But Walsh said she hopes motherhood won't signal the end of her volleyball career.

"After Misty and I have babies, we'll be back," she said. "We'll be back together. That's my hope and my goal."

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