Holly McPeak threw her body in the air and dove into the first row of spectators Sunday in the final of the Evian Long Beach Invitational, sending fans scrambling to get out of her way as she crashed through the barricade.
Somehow, her outstretched arms found the ball and she sent it hurling back to partner Nancy Reno, who smashed it across the net for a sideout.
The remarkable thing about this play was the score at the time--McPeak and Reno were leading Lisa Arce and Angela Rock, 12-3.
When McPeak stood, nearby fans groaned at the golf-ball size lump that appeared on her leg.
But after a few minutes under ice, a bandage and a hug from Reno, McPeak hobbled through the last few points for a 15-3 victory and $8,200 first-place prize.
“It doesn’t matter [what the score is],” McPeak said. “You have to go for it every time.”
That philosophy earned McPeak and Reno their sixth victory, including three international titles. They have won 33 of 34 matches.
Rock and Arce, playing in only their second Women’s Professional Volleyball Assn. event together, were overmatched in the final, Arce’s first.
In the semifinals, McPeak and Reno defeated Gail Castro and Lori Forsythe, 15-5, and Rock had six aces to beat familiar foes, Linda Hanley and Karolyn Kirby, 15-10.