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U.S. women's volleyball is second to none, sitting atop the world rankings. The game is thriving from the youth level up to the Olympics. But every year, the top U.S. women head to international leagues after college.

That's because the rest of the world has something the U.S. does not: dozens of women's pro volleyball leagues that are crucial for players to reach the highest level of their sport.

"We have 400 girls that have to go abroad if they want to continue in the world of volleyball," Katlyn Gao, the CEO of a new pro league called League One Volleyball, told NPR.

Head football coach Nick Rolovich was fired by Washington State University for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine as required by a mandate for state employees.

Four of Rolovich's assistant coaches — Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber — were also terminated by the university for failure to get fully vaccinated by Monday.

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Basically no one picked the Chicago Sky to win the WNBA title when the playoffs started last month. The Sky barely broke even in the regular season, so they were a long shot, to say the least. But last night on ESPN, the Chicago Sky wrapped up a month of proving just about everyone wrong.

ESPN college basketball and football reporter Allison Williams has joined a small minority of workers who have quit or been fired from their jobs over a vaccine mandate.

"I have been denied my request for accommodation by ESPN and the Walt Disney Company, and effective next week, I will be separated from the company," she said in a video posted to Instagram on Friday.

For Candace Parker, Sunday's WNBA final was the culmination of a personal goal: to bring a WNBA title to her hometown of Chicago.

She pulled it off, along with the rest of the Chicago Sky, beating the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in Game 4. It marks the team's first WNBA championship win in franchise history.

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Good morning. I'm Scott Detrow. Chicago has a title again.

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UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: The Chicago Sky are WNBA champions.

Los Angeles County is demanding that a judge force Vanessa Bryant and others to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before a lawsuit they filed against county officials goes to trial.

Tom Morey, the inventor of the Boogie Board and a renowned figure in the surfing world, died Thursday at age 86.

Morey grew up in Laguna Beach, Calif., where he started surfing and became one of the area's most notable surfers of the '50s and '60s. Morey attended the University of Southern California, where he studied music before switching to mathematics and graduating in 1957, according to The Washington Post.

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And I look forward all week to saying, and now it's time for sports.

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Jon Gruden's exit as an NFL coach is prompting calls for the league to release more information from the investigation that unearthed years' worth of misogynistic, homophobic and racist emails.

Some of the loudest calls are coming from former cheerleaders and other employees whose mistreatment by the Washington Football Team (WFT) prompted the NFL inquiry in the first place.

The National Hockey League has been extremely successful in its efforts to encourage vaccination for all players and personnel. It announced that there are only four players left who haven't gotten the shot.

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Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving won't be allowed to play in practices or games, general manager Sean Marks said Tuesday, strongly suggesting that he continues to run afoul of New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for professional athletes.

Although the team is barred by law from revealing a player's vaccination status, Irving has been listed as "ineligible to play" in a preseason game scheduled for Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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We're 18 months into dealing with this pandemic. And if you're feeling worn out and off balance, you're not alone.

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Updated October 11, 2021 at 10:54 PM ET

Jon Gruden, the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, has resigned following news reports that he used derogatory language in emails dating back to 2011.

The 125th Boston Marathon was two-and-a-half years in the making. Its champions, however, needed just over two hours to cross the finish line.

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A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Good morning. I'm A Martinez. It was the game no one seemed to be able to win. Yesterday, the Packers and Bengals kept missing game-winning field goals - five in all. The Packers' Mason Crosby.

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This year, due to COVID-19 postponements, five major international marathons (known collectively as the World Marathon Majors) are all taking place within 42 days of each other.

In a normal year, Tokyo, Boston, and London would run in the spring, and Berlin, Chicago and New York would be held in the fall. But Tokyo was cancelled this year, and the rest were pushed together from Sept. 26 to Nov. 7.

It's an unprecedented crunch.

And the insanity will come to a peak this weekend, as the Chicago and Boston will take just one day apart: on Sunday and Monday respectively.

A piece of baseball memorabilia sold for over $1 million this week, establishing a new record.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now to the tune of BJ Leiderman's theme music, it's time for sports.

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Only 10 Black people have made it to the top of Mount Everest.

Now, a team called Full Circle Everest hopes to become the first all-Black group to summit the world's highest mountain — and, in doing so, to inspire more Black people to spend more time in the outdoors.

Full Circle Everest is a crew of nine climbers. Philip Henderson, 58, an outdoorsman and mountaineer with more than 30 years of experience, is one of them.

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For more than 130 years, the Dodgers and the Giants have ruined each other's seasons.

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