Elaine Youngs ’93, Holly McPeak ’95, Jeff Nygaard ’95 and Stein Metzger ’96 have a lot in common. The four competed in volleyball at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and played this summer on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Pro Beach Volleyball tour.
Youngs ’93 and former partner and Bruin Holly McPeak became the first U.S. women to earn medals in beach volleyball when they took the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She was a four-time All-American while at UCLA and a member of the 1991 NCAA champion team. She earned three AVP awards in 2002, including Most Valuable Player.
Three-time Olympian McPeak, who studied English at UCLA, is one of the best-known names in professional volleyball. She holds the women’s records for the most games won and most career tournaments played. She was named AVP Best Defensive Player three years in a row and captured an AVP Most Valuable Player. While at UCLA, McPeak was named to the All Pac-10 and All-NCAA teams.
In 2003, Nygaard took the AVP Most Valuable Player and shared the AVP Team of the Year with partner Dain Blanton. A two-time indoor volleyball Olympian for the U.S., he competed on the national team for eight seasons, and played on the beach team in the Athens Games in 2004. Nygaard was the first collegiate men’s player to receive player of the year honors in two consecutive seasons. He led the Bruins to national championships in 1993 and 1995, and was college volleyball’s top freshman in 1992 and MVP in 1994 and 1995.
Metzger finished fifth in beach volleyball at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Before joining the AVP tour, Stein competed internationally with former partner Kevin Wong, winning the bronze medal at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Australia. Metzger was a three-time National Champion at UCLA where he earned three All-Americans, including the 1996 NCAA MVP and William G. Morgan Award for most outstanding player.