Youngs attended UCLA and graduated in 1993 with a degree in history. While in college, she was a four-time All-American and her team won the 1991 National Championship.
Elaine is a three time Olympian. She was a member of the U.S. volleyball team that took seventh at the 1996 Atlanta Games before switching to the beach in 1997. Youngs and Liz Masakayan won a bronze medal at the 1999 World Championships but failed to make the U.S. Olympic team in 2000. Youngs placed fourth at the 2001 Worlds with Barbra Fontana and fifth at the 2003 Worlds with Holly McPeak. Youngs and McPeak qualified as the No. 2 U.S. woman’s team for the 2004 Athens Games, where they won a bronze medal. They lost to fellow Americans Misty May and Kerri Walsh in the semifinals before defeating Australia’s Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson for bronze. On the AVP, Youngs has had much success on the AVP with 28 overall titles and over $750,000 in prize money.