After a year off the AVP Tour to give birth to her first child, Jen Kesey (l.) has officially marked her return to the tour with her 15th career win on tour, winning New York City with partner Em Day. (Robert Beck/AVP)
After a year away from the AVP Tour to give birth to her first child, Jen Kesey (l.) officially marked her return to top form in 2015 with her 15th career title on tour, winning the New York City Open with partner Em Day. (Robert Beck/AVP)

Summer may be known mostly for the exploits of the Boys of Summer on the baseball diamond, but action has been heating up across many sports here in the U.S. and across the world.

In our landmark 20th episode of The A Lot of Sports Talk Podcast, we speak with three championship athletes from two different sports – well, three, if one of our guest’s former professional sport counts. With the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Tour making its second stop of the season in New York City last week, we had a chance to catch up with some of the game’s best on the sand. Our first guest on the show is pro beach volleyball player Jen Kesey, 2012 London Olympic Games silver medalist. Minutes after she and partner Emily Day won the inaugural New York City Open last weekend, Kesey talked with us about how her new partnership with Day has evolved, as well as the rigors of professional beach volleyball life that may not be so apparent to the casual viewer of the game. Kesey, who took 2014 off to give birth to a baby girl, Aïla, also explains the best part about being a world-class athlete while being a mother, along with her current perspective on the silver medal she won in 2012 with then-partner April Ross.

The international soccer season also is getting underway, as many of the best European teams in the world are currently touring the States as part of the International Champions Cup. Our next guest on the podcast is Gregory van der Wiel, defender on the Dutch national soccer team, as well as for three-time reigning Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. PSG had just finished playing an exhibition match against Italian power ACF Fiorentina at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., and we spent a few minutes talking with van der Wiel about what he likes about New York City, how PSG held off fierce competition last season to win the Ligue 1 title again and some of his other interests in sports outside of The Beautiful Game.

To wrap up, we go back to the beach and spend a few good minutes talking with AVP professional Ryan Doherty, a man who went from being the tallest pitcher in affiliated baseball (7’0″) to one of the elite beach volleyball players in America in just over a year. Ryan shares with us how he was able to make that transition from baseball to beach volleyball, as well as how his time went in the minor leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Also, we ask Doherty about whether he has his eyes set on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio with his current partner on the sand, John Mayer.

Please enjoy the podcast, and leave us any and all comments that you have. Click here to go to the A Lot of Sports Talk podcast page on iTunes, and from there, you can download this show as well as subscribe to our podcast page and receive new episodes on your device the second it is posted. You can also open iTunes, and in the Podcasts section, type in “A Lot of Sports Talk” in the search box to find our shows.

Interview Order: Intro (0:00 – 3:54); Jennifer Kesey (3:56 – 6:53); Gregory van der Wiel (7:04 – 10:47); Ryan Doherty (10:55-22:51); Wrap-up (22:57 – 25:14)

[Cover photo (Gregory van der Wiel) courtesy of David Ramos/Getty Images Europe]

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