With five women's and four men's tournaments completed on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, there are a plateful of special delights to savor statistically as the tour embarks on three consecutive US$800,000 FIVB Grand Slams.
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 9, 2014 — Now that the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) has completed four men’s events and five women’s events it is ready to resume its 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour after a week off. This week, the FIVB World Tour has is heating up with three consecutive US$800,000 FIVB Grand Slams starting with the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam on Wednesday.
For some added nourishment around the net, we offer some more ‘munchies’ from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, before heading into a very busy three weeks ahead. He are some summary stats at this nuggets tp sample:
• European Domination – Through the first five events (four men’s and five women’s) of the 2014 FIVB World Tour, nothing describes the season better than “European Domination.” Starting with entries, the European Confederation (CEV) has entered 112 of the 193 men’s teams (58%) and 119 of the 217 women’s teams (55%). Of the 35 men’s teams who have advanced through the qualifying tournament, 18 have been from Europe (51%) along with 24 of the 40 women’s teams advancing (60%). Of the 96 men’s teams that have advanced from pool play into the 24-team single-elimination round, 61 have been from Europe (64%) and 66 of the 120 women’s teams (55%) advancing have been from the CEV. Europe also has dominated the final four finishes with 13 of the 16 men’s teams (81%) including all four gold, three silver, three bronze medals and three 4th-place finishes. For the women, the CEV has 10 of the 20 final four finishes with three gold, two silver, two bronze medals, and three 4th-place finishes. Here are the significant stories from the European Confederation for the 2014 FIVB World Tour:
• Italy wins its first ever gold medal – Italy kicked off the season with Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai winning the country’s first ever FIVB World Tour gold at the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open. To make sure that it wasn’t a fluke, Lupo and Nicolai repeated the feat at the following FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam. A men’s team hadn’t repeated as winners since the FIVB Rome and Gstaad Grand Slams in June and July of 2012.
• Germany’s Ludwig finally wins gold – after 101 FIVB World Tour entries and nine World Tour gold-medal match losses, Laura Ludwig finally claimed the gold at the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam. She had previously held the record for most runner-up finishes without winning gold. It was also the first FIVB World Tour victory for her partner Kira Walkenhorst.
• Latvian men win two in a row – Latvia had won four previous gold medals on the FIVB World Tour but never had back-to-back wins. That was until Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins won gold at the third men’s event, the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open and Martins Plavins/Aleksandrs Solovejs were victorious at the fourth event, the FIVB Anapa Open.
• Europe advances eight teams into the semifinals – Before the FIVB Anapa Open, Europe had only placed all four women’s teams in the final four two times previously, including the previous FIVB event in Prague. European men had only accomplished it once before, in the 2013 FIVB Anapa Open.
• Switzerland men have two top four finishes – It had been almost nine seasons since Switzerland had advanced two men’s teams to the final four. At the FIVB Anapa Open, Philip Gabathuler/Mirco Gerson and Sebastian Chevallier/Alexei Prawdzic finished with the bronze medal and 4th place, respectively.
• Spanish woman’s qualifier makes semifinals -- Spain’s Angela Lobato/Paula Soria made quite an impression by finishing fourth in just their second FIVB World Tour event each with a 4-3 match record. Even more impressive is that the previous weekend at the FIVB Prague Open, they failed win a match in the qualification tournament, finishing 41st.
• German women perfect in qualifying – Germany women’s teams are a perfect five for five in qualifying on the FIVB World Tour this season. Germany started off with Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude qualifying at the FIVB Fuzhou Open, Anapa gold medalists Victoria Bieneck/Julia Grossner followed at the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam and the FIVB Prague Open, with Kim Behrens/Sandra Seyfferth qualifying at the Puerto Vallarta Open in between those two. At the FIVB Anapa Open, Jana Kohler/Anni Schumacher were helped by a small qualifying field to advance into the main draw without having to play a match.
• Men’s Qualification Percentages - Of the four men’s events on the 2014 FIVB World Tour, here are some numbers and percentages for FIVB Confederations and countries who have had teams compete in the qualification tournaments and had one or more of the eight teams who advanced to each main draw. Overall for the men, the AVC has had 31.58% (19 of6) of its teams advance to the main draw, the CEV has had 31.58% (57 of 18), the CSV has had 57.14% (four of seven) and NORCECA has had 41.18% (7 of 17). Among individual countries by confederation, China (AVC) has qualified 50% (3 of 6), Germany (CEV) 50% (2 of 4), Brazil (CSV) 60% (3 of 5) and the United States (NORCECA) 80% (4 of 5).
• Women’s Qualification Percentages - Of the five women’s events on the 2014 FIVB World Tour. Overall for the women, the AVC had 19.05% (four of 21 teams qualify), CEV had 40.68% (24 of 59), CSV had 100.0% (4 of 4) and NORCECA had 61.54% (8 of 13). Among individual countries by confederation, Japan (AVC) has qualified 40% (2 of 5), Germany (CEV) 100% (5 of 5), Brazil (CSV) 100% (2 of 2) and Mexico (NORCECA) 100% (3 of 3).
• Match wins by Confederation/Country - Overall in men’s competition, the CSV has won 53.8 percent (42-36) of its matches with CEV second at 5.8% (220-205), the NORCECA third at 51.8% (58-54) and the AVC fourth with 37.a% (36-61) counting Top 24 elimination, pool play and qualifying matches. Individually for men, Latvia had the best percentage at 67.3% (33-16), followed byQatar at 64.7% (11-6) and Netherlands third at 64.3% (18-10, Brazil fourth at 63.8% (30-17) and Italy fifth at 63.2% (24-14). After five events in women’s action, the CSV led with at 68.0% (70-33) followed by the CEV at 49.6% (223-227), NORCECA at 47.3% (53-59) and AVC fourth at 42.0% (71-98). Individually, Brazil topped all women’s play at 72.5% (58-22) with Argentina second at 68.8% (11-5), Germany third at 68.6% (72-33), the United States fourth at 61.2% (30-19) and China fifth at 52.1% (38-35).
• Main draw wins by seeds - For the men, seeds 1 and 2 tied at 83.3% (20-4 each) with seed 4 and 7 next at 77.3% (17-5 each) and seed No. 3 fifth at 70.8% (17-7). For the women, seed No. 2 topped the winning percentage at 84.8% (28-5) with seed No. 1 in second at 81.8% (27-8) and seeds 2 third at 78.6% (22-6) with seed No. 7 in fifth at 73.1% (19-7).
• Match wins by events played together as a team - Men – 11 to 25 events 58.7% (74-52), 26 to 58.5% (38-27) with teams who have played together five or less tournaments had the lowest win percentage at 43.7% (128-165). Also for men, events played total over 200 events, 61.9% (26-16), 101 to 200 61.5% (88-55). Women – as a team 51-100 64.7% (11-6), over 100 60.6% (20-13) 6 to 10 54.7% (91-54); over 200 events played total 68.1 % (32-15), 101 to 200 63.8% (120-68).