Born: September 16, 1968 in Houston, Texas (USA)
Country: United States
Category: Female Indoor Player
Not just one of the greatest players in the history of American volleyball, Tara Cross-Battle was one of the best players in the world.
From a young age, Cross-Battle was no stranger to winning. She earned two California state championships her junior and senior years of high school. Cross-Battle was also named to Volleyball Monthly magazine’s Fab 50 list of the top high school players in the country.
Cross-Battle was a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division I Player of the Year and a four-time AVCA All-America selection at Long Beach State University. She was named to the All-Decade team for the 1980s as she led Long Beach State to the school’s first-ever national title in 1989 as the 49ers finished 35-2 overall. Cross-Battle set records in the NCAA for career kills with 2,767, which included a personal-best and school-record 47 kills in a single match. Her senior year, she received the Honda Award for volleyball, an award given to the most outstanding collegiate female athletes.
Her dominance continued on the U.S. Women’s National Team where she was an all-around skilled passer and world-class hitter. She became the United States’ first four-time volleyball Olympian, competing in the Games in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.
In her debut Olympics, she helped the United States to the bronze medal in Barcelona. She competed in three FIVB World Championships (1990, 1994, 2002), winning the bronze medal in 1990 and the silver medal in 2002. She was instrumental in the United States winning gold medals in the 1995 and 2001 FIVB World Grand Prix, along with bronze medals in the 2003 FIVB World Cup and World Grand Prix. She was named Best Scorer and Most Valuable Player of the 1995 FIVB World Grand Prix. In 2001, Cross-Battle led the U.S. to the NORCECA Continental Championship and was named most valuable player in the tournament.
Cross-Battle played professionally overseas in Italy and Brazil from 1992 to 2003. After her retirement from playing she became a juniors coach back in her home state of Texas. She currently serves as head training coach for Houston Juniors Volleyball Club, which captured the 17 National Division silver medal in the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.
For her dominant hitting and sustained international success, we welcome Tara Cross-Battle as a 2014 Inductee, in the player category, to the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.