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NEWS

Talking Stats: 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour—May 1

 
Speaking of stats, USA Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings, left and April Ross now have a pool play winning streak of 36 straight wins on the FIVB World Tour after adding three more round robin victories at the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open in China.
 
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 1, 2015 - Currently in the middle of a two-week break during the opening phase of the season, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) pauses to look back on some of the significant stats from its 2015 US$9.6 million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Following this two-week hiatus, the FIVB returns to action on the sand in Switzerland as the home country of the FIVB hosts the double-gender US$150,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Lucerne Open 2015 on May 12-17.

 It will be the 30th and 31st time Switzerland has hosted FIVB World Tour events and first times one has been held in Lucerne. This year’s FIVB World Tour will return to Switzerland for the annual FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam. Gstaad has hosted 14 men’s FIVB World Tour events and 15 women’s FIVB World Tour events highlighted by the 2007 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.

With one tournament now completed, here are some tantalizing tidbits from the 2015 FIVB World Tour that are from the scrumptious succulent smorgasbord of today’s treats on the FIVB Beach Volleyball menu:

•    Fuzhou Gets Another First-Time Winner – This is the third season that Fuzhou has hosted the season-opening FIVB World Tour event, and the second time that a pair of men’s players won their first FIVB World Tour event.  Last season it was Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai winning Italy’s first-ever gold medal for either gender.  This year, Germany’s Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen captured each of their first FIVB World Tour titles in their first tournament together.  Bockermann had played 43 previous FIVB World Tour events with a best finish of 5th place at the Shanghai Grand Slam in 2013 with Mischa Urbatzka, and Fluggen’s previous best finish was a silver medal in his first FIVB World Tour event at the Anapa Open in 2013 with Alexander Walkenhorst.

•    European Men Sweep the Podium – With the Germans winning the gold medal, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands winning silver, and France’s Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson taking bronze, Europe swept the men’s podium at the FIVB Fuzhou Open.  It was the eighth time that the European men captured all three medals in an FIVB World Tour event, and the third straight in an event held in China.  Last season, Krou/Rowlandson won in Xiamen with Spain and Russia finishing second and third, respectively.  At the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam last May, Italy, Latvia, and Germany stood atop the podium.  

•    Men’s Top Four Seeds Shutout Again -- At last season’s FIVB Fuzhou Open, none of the top four seeds made the semifinals with the first and fourth-seeded teams finishing in 5th place.  This season, the top four seeds were shutout again with the third and fourth-seeded teams finishing in 5th place and the top two seeds finishing 9th.  Last season’s feat was only the seventh time it had happened for the men on the FIVB World Tour.  However, last season it occurred three more times in the Berlin Grand Slam, the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam, and the Sao Paulo Grand Slam.

•    Men’s Top Rookies for 2015 – In order to qualify as a rookie, a player must not have participated in an FIVB World Tour main draw from a previous season.  In the FIVB Fuzhou Open, two players made their first main draw qualification and are atop the rookie leaderboard.  Herman Egleskalns from Latvia finished 17th with Martins Plavins and China’s Yang Li finished 25th with Peng Gao. This stat will be updated after each event to track the progress of the top new players.
o    Herman Egleskalns, Latvia, 90 points
o    Yang Li, China, 60 points

•    Men’s Players with Best Finish in Fuzhou – Here are the men’s players who enjoyed their best finish at the FIVB Fuzhou Open:
o    Player, Country, Finish, Previous Best
o    Markus Bockermann, Germany, Gold, 5th (Shanghai 2013)
o    Lars Fluggen, Germany, Gold, Silver (Anapa 2013)
o    Stafford Slick, USA, 4th, Previous Best 9th (two times)
o    Kacper Kujawiak, Poland, 5th, 25th (Stare Jablonki 2014)
o    Michal Bryl, Poland, 5th, 9th (Doha 2014)
o    Maciej Rudol, Poland, 9th, 17th (Xiamen 2014)
o    Hermans Egleskalns, Latvia, 17th, first event
o    Yang Li, China 25th, 33rd (Shanghai 2009)

•    Canada Strikes Gold and Gets First Women’s Medal – When Canada’s Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas completed their 21-17 and 23-21 victory over Germany’s Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude in the finals of the FIVB Fuzhou Open, it was the first time a Canadian women’s team had won an FIVB World Tour medal.  Only once before had a Canadian women’s team made the semi-finals of an FIVB World Tour event, with Guylaine Dumont/Annie Martin losing to a pair of USA teams in the final four of the 2004 FIVB Stavanger Open to finish in 4th place.  Kerri Walsh Jennings, who formed one-half of the Canadian pair’s semi-final victims in Fuzhou, defeated Dumont/Martin in the Stavanger bronze medal match alongside Rachel Wacholder Scott to prevent Canada from claiming a medal as the USA swept the podium.

•    One Streak Continues– USA’s April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings were the only women’s team to sweep through the Pool Play competition last season, winning all 30 matches in their 10 FIVB World Tour events.  Along the way, they lost only one set, to Brazil’s Salgado sisters in the FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam.  In the 2015 season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open, Ross and Walsh Jennings kept their winning streak alive, winning all three pool play matches in straight sets.  The pair also swept through pool play in the final event of the 2013 FIVB World Tour season to make it 12 tournaments in a row.  Their last pool play loss was to Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth at the FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam in October of 2013.

•    One Streak Ends – While Ross/Walsh Jennings were keeping their pool play winning streak alive, they ended their gold-medal winning streak.  Since forming the partnership at the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam in 2013, the pair had won a gold medal all six times they reached the semifinals in their 14 previous FIVB World Tour events.  That streak ended in Fuzhou when they were upset by the 13th-seeded Canadian’s, Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas in the semifinals relegating them to their first FIVB World Tour bronze medal match together.  The victory by Broder/Valjas was also the first by a Canadian team over Kerri Walsh Jennings in her 14-year FIVB World Tour career out of 12 previous matches and just the second over April Ross in 20 previous matches in her 10 years.

•    Women’s Top Rookies for 2015 – In order to qualify as a rookie, a player must not have participated in an FIVB World Tour main draw from a previous season.  In the FIVB Fuzhou Open, two players made their first main draw qualification and are atop the rookie leaderboard.  Brazil’s Carolina Horta finished 17th with Liliane Maestrini and Francesca Giogoli of Italy finished 25th with Greta Cicolari. This stat will be updated after each event to track the progress of the top new players.
o    Carolina Horta, Brazil, 90 points
o    Francesca Giogoli, Italy, 60 points

•    Women’s Players with Best Finish in Fuzhou – Here are the women’s players who enjoyed their best finish at the FIVB Fuzhou Open:
o    Player, Country, Finish, Previous Best
o    Jamie Broder, Gold, 5th (Parana 2014)
o    Kristina Valjas, Gold, 5th (Parana 2014)
o    Linline Matauatu, Vanuatu, 5th, 25th (Beijing 2012)
o    Pata Miller, Vanuatu, 5th, 9th (two times)
o    Francesca Giogoli, Italy, 25th, 33rd (Marseille 2008)

ON THE HORIZON
The FIVB Fuzhou Open was the first double-gender FIVB open event of the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar.  After a two-week break, the second event will be the FIVB Lucerne Open in Switzerland, the home of the FIVB, from May 12-17.  The following week, the lone women’s-only open of the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar will be the FIVB Prague Open in the Czech Republic from May 20-24 followed by the first of five grand slams with the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam from May 26-31.

GROWING HISTORY
The FIVB Lucerne Open will be the 316th FIVB men’s event since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 279th FIVB women’s tournament since they started in 1992.

FIVB 2015
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar features a record purse of US$9.6 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 20 venues in 15 countries. The schedule includes five FIVB Grand Slams, the new Swatch FIVB Major Series of four events, six FIVB Opens and a special Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final in the United States. A showcase event will be the $1 million 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands.

The Olympic qualification process begins in 2015 with all FIVB World Tour events (except the FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 up until June 13, 2016 counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

FIVB WORLD RANKINGS
The 2015 FIVB World Ranking system will again include FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam, the new FIVB Major Series and FIVB Open events along with additional pre-approved events at the inter-continental, continental and national levels.

The 2014-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup also returns this year as it starts its portion of the qualification process for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

FIVB WORLD TOUR PURSES
The FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions, all double-gender each have $800,000 in total purses. The total purse FIVB World Championships the Netherlands 2015 will be $1,000,000 and $500,000 total for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams in each gender.

The nine FIVB Open tournaments in 2015, seven double-gender, one men only and one women only, will have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions. The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Open tournaments will each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.

FIVB EVENT FORMAT
Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs will return as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.




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