Have you ever googled something along the lines of “top American female athletes of all-time”? Thinking of the laurels of Kerri Walsh Jennings’ career, you might be thinking she must be among the best all-time, and others must think this as well! But what happens when you google just that? You get lists that name great athletes like Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, Candace Parker, Lindsey Vonn, Billy Jean King, Dara Torres and others. Two names that seem shockingly absent from these lists? Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor.

Below are a list of accomplishments of Kerri & Misty along with a few other top American female athletes.


Kerri Walsh Accomplishments:

1996 & 97 NCAA National Championships indoor volleyball at Stanford. Final Four MVP in 1996, co-National Player of the Year in 1999.

4th place in 2000 Sydney Olympics, indoor volleyball. 2004, 2008, 2012 Gold Medals in Beach Volleyball with Misty May.

Gold in 2003, 2005, 2007 World Championships of beach volleyball, Silver in 2011.

In 201 AVP & international tournaments played in, Kerri has won 120 of them – a 59.7% win percentage.


Misty May Accomplishments:

1998 NCAA Championship – 36-0 record. NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player. 1997-98 Player of the Year.

2004, 2008, 2012 Gold Medals in Beach Volleyball with Kerri Walsh.

Gold in 2003, 2005, 2007 World Championships of beach volleyball, Silver in 2011.


Mia Hamm Accomplishments:

4 NCAA Championships at UNC, 2-time ACC Player of the Year, 94-1 career record on UNC soccer teams

1996, 2004 Olympic Gold Medal

1991, 1999 World Cup Gold

1995 & 2003 – World Cup 3rd place

2000 Olympic Silver Medal

158 Goals in 275 International Appearances


Lisa Leslie Accomplishments:

1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 – Olympic Gold Medals Women’s Basketball

2x WNBA Champion 2001, 2002

3x WNBA MVP – 2001, 2004, 2006

NCAA Freshman of the Year while at USC – 1991

NCAA National Player of the Year 1994

NCAA All-American 1992, 93, 94


Serena Williams Accomplishments:

2000, 2008, 2012 Olympic Gold Medal – Doubles

2012 Olympic Gold Medal – Singles

13 Doubles Grand Slam Titles

17 Singles Grand Slam Titles

665-118 record in singles competition

61 career WTA victories


In addition to comparable levels of success, volleyball is one of the most popular sports for women. According to, volleyball is the 3rd most popular sport at the high school level, with over 418,000 participants. At the college level, volleyball drops down to 5th, behind soccer, track and field, basketball, and softball. This isn’t some small niche sport that has limited participants; in fact, it’s one of the most popular women’s sports out there.


While it is difficult to quantify whose accomplishments are the most impressive, it is clear that these women all hold a special place in American Sport’s History. When each athlete is so decorated, it becomes difficult to rank who had a better career or who truly had more success. What is crystal clear is that Kerri Walsh and Misty May deserve to belong in the conversation as greatest female American athletes of all time.


(Photo creed