Karch Kiraly - Wins Inaugural Oldsmobile Beach Series
Wins Inaugural Oldsmobile Beach Series
On May 16, 1999, in Huntington Beach, California, Kiraly, paired with Johnson, won the inaugural Oldsmobile Beach Volleyball Series, an event sanctioned by USA Volleyball. He's also won the King of the Beach Invitational four times (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996). For all of 1999, Kiraly won a total of five tournaments, four in AVP-sanctioned events and one at a USA Volleyball-sanctioned event. The following year Kiraly won only one AVP-sanctioned tournament. In 2001 Kiraly suffered leg and shoulder injuries and competed in only two domestic tournaments. For the first time since 1986, he won no tournaments at all in 2001. Bouncing back from his injuries in 2002, Kiraly pushed his career earnings past the $3 million mark at the final AVP tournament of the season in Las Vegas, becoming the first player to do so.
Interviewed by Sports Illustrated in September 2002, Kiraly was asked if it was important to him to be known as the greatest volleyball player of all time. The modest Kiraly responded: "No. There have been a lot of great players. I was lucky to play in a period when we had more tournaments every summer than the guys before me, so I accumulated a lot more victories." Just how many more wins Kiraly will accumulate, no one can say, but it's certain that he's made an impression on volleyball that will linger long after he's left the game forever.