PRESS RELEASE 21.11.2009

Juliana Tops 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Women’s Award Winners

A successful return to the SWATCH FIVB World Tour in 2009 for Juliana Felisberta Silva of Brazil

Lausanne, Switzerland, November 21, 2009 - After the disappointment of missing the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games due to a knee injury, Juliana Felisberta Silva of Brazil completed her successful return to the international Beach Volleyball scene by being honored as most outstanding women’s player on the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

The results of the voting for the top competitors on the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour by SWATCH representatives, players, coaches, referees and officials on the international Beach Volleyball circuit were announced here Saturday.  Juliana and her partner Larissa Franca were the top 2009 honorees as the pair captured their fourth “tour” team championship in the last five seasons.

In addition to being the MOP on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour after being recognized as the top competitor at four events in Brazil, Russia, The Netherlands and Spain, Juliana was also named the FIVB’s top blocker.  Juliana, the FIVB’s top hitter in 2006, was also third in the voting for top offensive player and best hitter in 2009

Juliana’s misfortunes in 2008 began with her right knee injury at an event in Paris.  After attempting a comeback two weeks prior to the Beijing Games, Juliana withdrew from the Olympics two days before the start of the competition and had knee surgery in the following weeks.

Larissa, the 2006 SWATCH most outstanding player, was named as the 2009 tour’s top setter and defensive player in 2009.  She has now won the setting award the past four seasons as Greece’s Vasso Karadassiou tied Larissa for the honor in 2008.  Larissa was also the SWATCH FIVB World Tour’s top hitter in 2008.

With eight gold medals in 2009, Juliana and Larissa regained the “tour” championship after previously winning the top team honors in 2005, 2006 and 2007.  For their efforts this season, Juliana and Larissa shared US$368,100 in earnings.  Since forming their partnership in 2004, Juliana and Larissa’s international record shows 29 gold medals in 72 SWATCH events with 56 podium placements, 60 “final four” finishes and $1,737,150 in winnings.

Also capturing 2009 individual awards were Louise Bawden of Australia, Brazilians Shelda Bede and Maria Clara Salgado, Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands, and Angie Akers and April Ross of the United States.  Ross and Jen Kessy captured the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships in Norway by defeating Juliana and Larissa in the July 4 finale in Stavanger.

Bawden and Akers tied for the rookie-of-the-year honor on the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour.  Both playing in their first-full international season, Bawden and Akers collected silver medals this season.  Bawden and Becchara Palmer placed second in Poland where the Aussies dropped the Stare Jablonki finale to Juliana and Larissa.

After winning her first international medal at last month’s stop in China, Akers teamed with Tyra Turner to place second in Thailand the next week where they dropped the All-American Phuket finale to Ross and Kessy.  Akers and Turner finished the season with three semi-final appearances, $128,900 in winnings and No. 5 in team points.

In addition to winning her fifth-straight most inspirational player award, the 36-year old Shelda was also honored as the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Tour’s sportswoman of the year.  Shelda, who played her final international event in September at Barcelona, was the circuit’s top defender in 2005 and 2006 and a member of seven tour championship teams. 

A 2008 junior world champion, Van Iersel was named the 2009 most improved player as she finished the SWATCH FIVB World Tour season as part of the No. 6-ranked team with Sanne Keizer.  The Dutch pair posted 10 top nine finishes in 12 starts with two semi-final appearances, a bronze medal placement in Japan and $113,700 in winnings.

Ross topped the voting as the best offensive player and hitter and finished third behind Maria Clara and Larissa for the top serving honor.  Maria Clara won the serving honor for the second-straight season with a record serve of 86.5 km/h at the world championships.

In addition to winning the world championships in Norway, Ross and Kessy captured gold medals in France and Thailand and appeared in seven SWATCH FIVB World Tour finals this season in 12 events.  As the third-ranked team internationally, Ross and Kessy shared $278,200 in SWATCH winnings.
2009 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Women’s Post-Season Awards

Most Improved Player
1, Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands
2, Becchara Palmer, Australia
3, Barbara Hansel, Austria
3, Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland
Also receiving votes - Maria Antonelli, Brazil, Bibiana Candelas, Mexico, Sanne Keizer, Netherlands, Jen Kessy, United States, Giulia Momoli, Italy, Liesbeth Mouha, Belgium, April Ross, United States, Ana Scarlett, New Zealand, Stefanie Schwaiger, Austria

Most Inspirational Player
1, Shelda Bede, Brazil
2, Laura Ludwig, Germany
3, Maria Antonelli, Brazil
Also receiving votes - Vassiliki Arvaniti, Greece, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil, Larissa Franca, Brazil, Jen Kessy, United States, Sara Montagnolli, Austria, Doris Schwaiger, Austria, Ingrid Torlen, Norway, Elaine Youngs, United States

Rookie of the Year
1, Angie Akers, United States
1, Louise Bawden, Australia
3, Ying Huang, China
3, Anastasia Vasina, Russia
Also receiving votes - Elsa Baquerizo, Spain, Galina Boyko, Russia, Monika Brzostek, Poland, Danielle Remmers, Netherlands, Lenka Hajeckova, Czech Republic, Lauren Fendrick, United States, Ashley Ivy, United States, Kristyna Kolocova, Czech Republic, Claudia Lehmann, Germany, Marta Menegatti, Italy, Becchara Palmer, Australia, Marketa Slukova, Czech Republic, Karolina Sowala, Poland, Liliana Fernandez Steiner, Spain, Michelle Stiekema, Netherlands, Julia Sude, Germany, Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands, Sophie van Gestel, Netherlands, Marloes Wesselink, Netherlands

1, Shelda Bede, Brazil
2, Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil
3, Jen Kessy, United States
Also receiving votes - Talita Antunes, Brazil, Susan Blundell, New Zealand, Larissa Franca, Brazil, Nila Ann Hakedal, Norway, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Sara Montagnolli, Austria, April Ross, United States, Ingrid Torlen, Norway, Tyra Turner, United States, Xi Zhang, China

2009 SWATCH Most Outstanding Player Awards
? Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil
  Brasília, Moscow, The Hague, Barcelona
? Maria Antonelli, Brazil Shanghai, Gstaad, Kristiansand
? Larissa Franca, Brazil Osaka, Aland
? Jen Kessy, United States Marseille, Phuket
? Talita Antunes, Brazil Seoul
? April Ross, United States Stavanger
? Simone Kuhn, Switzerland Sanya
? Sara Montagnolli, Austria Klagenfurt
? Becchara Palmer, Australia Stare Jablonki

Best Defensive Player
1, Larissa Franca, Brazil
2, Sara Montagnolli, Austria
3, Laura Ludwig, Germany
Also receiving votes - Maria Antonelli, Brazil, Vassiliki Arvaniti, Greece, Shelda Bede, Brazil, Kristyna Kolocova, Czech Republic, Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil, Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland

Best Offensive Player
1, April Ross, United States
2, Larissa Franca, Brazil
3, Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil
3, Jen Kessy, United States
Also receiving votes, Talita Antunes, Brazil, Maria Antonelli, Brazil, Nicole Branagh, United States, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Doris Schwaiger, Austria, Ilka Semmler, Germany, Elaine Youngs, United States, Xi Zhang, China

Best Blocker
1, Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil
2, Liesbeth Mouha, Belgium
3, Ilka Semmler, Germany
Also receiving votes, Talita Antunes, Brazil, Barbara Hansel, Austria, Stefanie Schwaiger, Austria, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece, Tyra Turner, United States, Anastasia Vasina, Russia, Elaine Youngs, United States

Best Setter
1, Larissa Franca, Brazil
2, Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands
3, Laura Ludwig, Germany
3, Sanne Keizer, Netherlands
Also receiving votes, Shelda Bede, Brazil, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil, Sara Goller, Germany, Shana Mullins, Great Britain, Becchara Palmer, Australia, Renata Ribeiro, Brazil, Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil, Stefanie Schwaiger, Austria, Ilka Semmler, Germany

Best Hitter
1, April Ross, United States
2, Sara Goller, Germany
3, Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil
Also receiving votes - Talita Antunes, Brazil, Larissa Franca, Brazil, Nila Ann Hakedal, Norway, Vanilda Leão, Brazil, Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece, Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands, Elaine Youngs, United States, Xi Zhang, China

2009 SWATCH Top Servers
Rank Player Country Speed km/h Site
1 Maria Clara Salgado BRA 86.5 Stavanger
2 Larissa Franca BRA 85.5 Klagenfurt
3 April Ross USA 85.3 Stavanger
4 Maloes Wesselink NED 84.1 Stare Jablonki
5 Ana Paula Connelly BRA 83.9 Aland
6 Yuan Yue CHN 83.2 Shanghai

Women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Award Winners

Most Outstanding
2009 - Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil
2008 - Xi Zhang, China & Misty May-Treanor, USA
2007 - Kerri Walsh, United States
2006 - Larissa Franca, Brazil
2005 - May-Treanor, United States

Best Blocker
2009 - Juliana, Brazil
2008 - Walsh, United States
2007 - Walsh, United States
2006 - Walsh, United States
2005 - Walsh, United States

Best Defensive Player
2009 - Larissa, Brazil
2008 - May-Treanor, United States
2007 - May-Treanor, United States
2006 - Shelda Bede, Brazil
2005 - Shelda, Brazil

Best Hitter
2009 - April Ross, United States
2008 - Larissa, Brazil
2007 - Walsh, United States
2006 - Walsh, United States
2005 - Walsh, United States

Best Offensive Player
2009 - Ross, United States
2008 - May-Treanor, United States
2007 - Walsh & May-Treanor, United States
2006 - Juliana, Brazil
2005 - May-Treanor, United States

Best Server
2009 - Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil
2008 - Maria Clara, Brazil
2007 - Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil
2006 - Ana Paula, Brazil
2005 - Ana Paula, Brazil
2004 - Ana Paula, Brazil
2003 - Ana Paula, Brazil
Best Setter
2009 - Larissa, Brazil
2008 - Larissa, Brazil & Vasso Karadassiou, Greece
2007 - Larissa, Brazil
2006 - Larissa, Brazil
2005 - May-Treanor, United States

Most Improved Player
2009 - Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands
2008 - Nicole Branagh, United States
2007 - Tamsin Barnett, Australia & Laura Ludwig, Germany
2006 - Leila Barros, Brazil
2005 - Vassiliki Arvaniti, Greece

Most Inspirational
2009 - Shelda, Brazil
2008 - Shelda, Brazil
2007 - Shelda, Brazil
2006 - Shelda, Brazil
2005 - Shelda, Brazil

2009 - Shelda, Brazil
2008 - May-Treanor & Walsh, United States
2007 - May-Treanor & Walsh, United States
2006 - Walsh, United States
2005 - Walsh, United States

Top Rookie
2009 - Angie Akers, USA & Louise Bawden, Australia
2008 - Bibiana Candelas, Mexico
2007 - April Ross, United States
2006 - Chen Xue, China
2005 - Talita Antunes, Brazil

Team of the Year
2009 - Juliana & Larissa, Brazil
2008 - Ana Paula & Shelda, Brazil
2007 - Juliana & Larissa, Brazil
2006 - Juliana & Larissa, Brazil
2005 - Juliana & Larissa, Brazil

Women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Points Champions
Season Team, Country
1992-93 Karolyn Kirby/Nancy Reno, United States
1993-94 Kirby/Liz Masakayan, United States
1994-95 Monica Rodrigues/Adriana Samuel, Brazil
1995-96 Sandra Pires/Jackie Silva, Brazil
1996 Pires/Silva, Brazil
1997 Shelda Bede/Adriana Behar, Brazil
1998 Shelda/Adriana, Brazil
1999 Shelda/Adriana, Brazil
2000 Shelda/Adriana, Brazil
2001 Shelda/Adriana, Brazil
2002 Misty May/Kerri Walsh, United States
2003 Ana Paula Connelly/Pires, Brazil
2004 Shelda/Adriana, Brazil
2005 Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca, Brazil
2006 Juliana/Larissa, Brazil
2007 Juliana/Larissa, Brazil
2008 Shelda/Ana Paula, Brazil
2009 Juliana/Larissa, Brazil