Misty May-Treanor, Phil Dalhausser win AVP awards
I had a chance to sit in on the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals year-end banquet Wednesday night. Like most fans, I'm used to seeing these athletes in their competition gear, so it was a little change of pace to catch them all decked out. Well, some of the guys refused to go beyond a Hawaiian shirt, but what do you expect from a beach volleyball player?
I was hoping to catch up with Misty May-Treanor, who was voted best offensive player, best defensive and most valuable player of 2008. Unfortunately, she wasn't feeling too well after getting her cast removed earlier in the day and opted to stay home.
That's a significant injury for anyone, but for a beach volleyball player, who does so much vertical leaping and lunging, she could be out a while. Next season was already a question mark, since May-Treanor and teammate Kerri Walsh said before winning Olympic gold medals that they were hoping to become moms some time hext year.
Word around the banquet was another top women's player is pregnant. All of these potential openings have tour veteran Holly McPeak thinking she might just stick around for another season, but she's still in wait-and-see mode. It's only October.
The other big winner was Phil Dalhausser, the 6-foot-9 superfly who teamed with Todd Rogers to win gold in Beijing. Dalhausser was named best blocker, best offensive player and MVP. The funniest part was when tour commissioner Leonard Armato spoke eloquently about Dalhausser, except he was looking at another bald guy the whole time.
On the business end, Armato said that Paul Mitchell hair-care products has agreed to continue their sponsorship, and the AVP landed a new sponsor, Johnsonville, which plans to cook their brats and sausages at all the events next season, turning them into one big beach barbecue.
-- Dan Arritt
Photo: Phil Dalhausser hits the ball past Mike Morrison during an AVP Manhattan Beach Open match last month in Manhattan Beach. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images