FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Ft. Lauderdale Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals | 29 September - 4 October 2015

#SwatchWTFinalsUSA


Press release

Canadians created head shaking


Jamie Broder eyes the Mikasa in her match Tuesday with Kristina Valjas as the Canadian pair created "head-shaking" when they became their country's first gold medal winning women's team on the FIVB World Tour earlier this season in Fuzhou, China.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., September 29, 2015 - It was the kickoff to the 2015 FIVB World Tour, the start of a year that would include so many crucial opportunities for potential Olympians.

Halfway across the world in Fuzhou, China, the result of the FIVB Open event turned some heads. At the end of the week, many of the sport’s biggest names and top contenders were left shaking their heads.

None of them won, for one thing. For another, it was a women’s team from Canada that captured a gold medal.

Oh, you mean that tall player and the fierce defender behind her? Few would have guessed that it would have been Kristina Valjas and Jamie Broder, who have spent the entire year proving they’re not just the “other” Canadians with Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be able to put Canadian Beach Volleyball on the map,” Broder said. “All the athletes we’ve had for a long time - and to be able to prove we belong, that’s icing on the cake.”

“It’s kind of weird for Canada to have a summer sport,” Valjas added. “My brother’s a skier and that’s a little more accepted. People don’t know there’s a national team in Canada, so we’re trying to get the word out.”

Oh, the word is out and still being shouted. Valjas and Broder followed their China gold with a third-place finish in Lucerne, Switzerland.

But maybe the highlight of their season came in the FIVB Porec, Croatia Grand Slam. That might be difficult to understand, but Valjas and Broder had to win two qualifying matches, then they lost two of their pool-play matches, then got on a four-match win streak that included consecutive victories over Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta of Brazil, Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain and Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas to reach the semifinals.

They were one match away from facing Pavan and Bansley for the title, proving Canada has a rivalry that can match just about any other country.

“I think it’s a healthy (rivalry) because we push each other,” Valjas said. In Croatia for example we were on different sides of the draw and we saw that they were winning, we were winning games and we got to the semifinal in a Grand Slam and it was great.”

The points they compiled enabled them to reach No. 6 in the world rankings and earn an invitation to this week’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Florida.

That means they are competing with nine of the other best players in the world in a tournament in which each match could conceivably be a final in any event on the tour.

So yes, it’s starting to sink in that they are close to qualifying for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, but they’ve also learned to enjoy each step as it happens.

“It’s having a stronger mentality, taking a second to recognize how lucky we are doing what we’re doing, how we appreciate the moment and not taking anything for granted,” Broder said. “I think we did a really good job with just focusing on the tournament at hand and not stressing about looking too far forward.”

They’re looking at that as the key to establishing the consistency from week to week on the FIVB World Tour.

“It’s a mindset,” Valjas said. “Physically, we’re really strong and we’re very athletic people and it’s maintaining a positive mental attitude coming into everything. The season is long, it can be dragging, the travel can wear on you and coming fresh with a mindset with a positive energy is what we can work on and what we are working on. That’s a big difference for our game.”

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
07.10.2015 10:23:05
World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale: Saving the best for last

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 6, 2015 – As the curtain came down on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals on Sunday, it was clear that the final tourname... More...

06.10.2015 15:17:04
Challenges create court confidence

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., October 6, 2015 - When he went to sleep Thursday night, Jose Casanova hit the bed with more than a little anxiety.... More...

05.10.2015 06:44:41
The Fan Zone - SWATCH Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 6

Fort Lauderdale, United States, October 4, 2015 - Check out all of the best social media posts from Day 6 of the US$500,000 FIVB World Tour Finals! M... More...

04.10.2015 22:54:50
Brazilian beach clinic

04.10.2015 20:37:24
Talita and Larissa net gold medal and richest prize

04.10.2015 19:48:13
Evandro and Pedro rebound for bronze medal finish

04.10.2015 19:31:03
Track stars become beach volleyball fans

04.10.2015 18:51:20
Brazilian world champions net SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals bronze medal

04.10.2015 04:27:58
The Fan Zone - Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 5

04.10.2015 01:49:36
Fort Lauderdale - Another key part of the beach volleyball success story

04.10.2015 01:12:45
Familiar family, friends, fans and FOE

04.10.2015 00:25:55
Players compete for colourful SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals trophy

03.10.2015 21:39:30
Brazil vs. Germany for women’s US$100,000 first-place prize Sunday

03.10.2015 17:58:40
Beach Volleyball Impressions - 1981 from southern California to now in south Florida

03.10.2015 07:37:29
The Fan Zone - Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 4

03.10.2015 00:37:16
Current and past FIVB world champions “stayin’ alive” in Fort Lauderdale

03.10.2015 00:17:07
President Graça meets legends past and present in Fort Lauderdale

03.10.2015 00:01:46
Rematches galore in Fort Lauderdale

02.10.2015 20:00:36
Women’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals women’s bracket set

02.10.2015 18:00:52
Brazil, Germany and USA pairs net Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals bracket berths

02.10.2015 05:23:34
Canadian Olympian Drakich likes what he sees

02.10.2015 03:13:50
VIDEOS - Meeting the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals athletes

01.10.2015 22:08:16
German girls twinkling and laughing

01.10.2015 17:44:31
Brazilian world champions featured Wednesday

01.10.2015 12:47:59
Beach volleyball rivalry blasts sky high

01.10.2015 09:42:26
The Fan Zone - Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 2

01.10.2015 03:16:33
Racecar driver visits SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals

01.10.2015 00:20:29
Lost in America

30.09.2015 12:15:52
VIDEO: First serve launched at World Tour Finals

30.09.2015 10:04:07
The Fan Zone: Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals Day 1

30.09.2015 00:12:55
Wild Card Tuesday at SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals

29.09.2015 20:10:44
Canadians created head shaking

29.09.2015 20:04:28
36 hours or 36 days?

29.09.2015 18:02:45
SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals - Revised side-court schedule

29.09.2015 16:09:18
A mum who sides out

28.09.2015 23:59:13
$500,000 Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals this week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

26.09.2015 14:34:13
Milestone Saturday for Lucena and Dalhausser

25.09.2015 16:48:05
Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals Participants Dalhausser & Lucena advance in China

24.09.2015 14:07:37
Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals participants beat the heat & humidity, stayin’ alive

23.09.2015 22:43:20
Brooke's bitter “Sweat" times

23.09.2015 22:20:50
Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals participants - Continue success & starting play

22.09.2015 21:59:13
Making the “Benjamin Button of beach volleyball”

21.09.2015 22:34:11
Day & Kessy jet-setting around the world - SoCal to China to FLA to SoCal

20.09.2015 20:43:21
Disappointment, but elation

20.09.2015 20:39:32
Prelude to Fort Lauderdale

20.09.2015 13:13:42
Fort Lauderdale mayor ready for ‘perfect’ event

19.09.2015 23:59:11
The lull before the Fort Lauderdale Beach Volleyball storm!

19.09.2015 17:41:02
US duos aiming for home glory

18.09.2015 18:04:37
Twenty teams learn Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals fate

18.09.2015 18:00:00
Pools and match schedule announced for inaugural Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals

18.09.2015 02:07:58
Announcement Thursday for beach volleyball

16.09.2015 20:51:14
Gibb & Patterson’s silver medal nets silver lining

16.09.2015 16:48:33
Italian Olympians net Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals berth

16.09.2015 16:41:16
Media Conference launches Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals

14.09.2015 23:55:44
Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder, so to speak

14.09.2015 23:51:23
Ross and Fendrick show class before World Tour Finals

14.09.2015 00:41:50
New Team = Undefeated Champions

13.09.2015 02:19:29
Saturday successes for SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals participants

11.09.2015 11:08:07
Pools set for inaugural Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals

09.09.2015 09:09:17
First-ever Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals comes to America

31.08.2015 17:32:05
Field for SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals nearly set

10.03.2015 17:18:05
Beach volleyball set for global expansion with new partners