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Kiraly takes over women’s U.S. volleyball team

Beach Volleyball: AVP Seaside Heights Open

20000108BF 3/4 — Three-time olympic gold medalist Karch Kiraly awaits a serve during a loss against against Ryan Mariano and Ed Ratledge at AVP Volleyball’s Seaside Heights Open on Friday. SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ 1/8/00 9:31:49 PM BEN FREDMAN/THE STAR-LEDGER

BEN FREDMAN

Karch Kiraly, one of the most decorated volleyball players in history - both indoor and beach - has been chosen to take over the U.S. women’s team and will spend the next four years preparing to avenge back-to-back gold medal game losses to Brazil, which will have home court in 2016.

“We hope to continue that wonderful momentum that went right on through a really tremendous Olympic Games,” Kiraly said earlier this week. “A tremendous tournament that ended on a bit of a down note losing in the gold medal match, but a great accomplishment. Two silver medals in a row now for the USA women, a hallmark of consistency. And I hope to continue that.”

If you’ve never heard of Kiraly here’s a quick bio: he won three NCAA national championships at UCLA between 1979 and ’82, losing only five matches in his college career. He then won indoor Olympic gold in 1984 and again as a captain in 1988, then decided to try his hand at beach, won the first men’s beach gold in 1996, and ended his career in 2007 with 148 world tour victories – still the most all time. He was also named the world’s best indoor player twice and AVP beach player of the year six times.

All that to say: he’s pretty good at what he does and we’re lucky to have him on our side. Here’s hoping he can finally figure out a way to help the U.S. women get past Brazil and turn silver to gold in Rio.