Lausanne, Switzerland, January 8, 2018 - Launching the New Year in impressive style, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) resumed the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour with the men’s fifth event and the women’s fourth tournament. Last week, the 2018 FIVB World Tour held a double-gender event in the Netherlands. The 2018 FIVB World Tour schedule will continue the first week of February in Australia. Quick links - Beach volleyball:
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The 2018 FIVB World Tour resumed in the Netherlands last week with the double-gender 4-Star Dela Beach Open in The Hague with a team from Latvia earning the men’s gold medal and a duo from the United States capturing the women’s gold medal.Dela Beach Open - Men
Winning the men’s gold medal last week in the dynamic indoor arena at Sportcampus Zuiderpark with an unbeaten 6-0 match record was Latvia’s 17th-seeded Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs who upset Poland’s second-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak in straight sets, 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) in 32 minutes.Poland's Piotr Kantor, left and Latvia's Edgars Tocs battle over the Mikasa during the gold medal match in The Hague won by Tocs and Martins Plavins in two sets.
Playing in their first FIVB World Tour event as a team, It was the third career FIVB World Tour gold medal for Latvia’s Plavins and first for Tocs. Plavins won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics with Janis Smedins. For Poland’s Kantor/Losiak, who were playing in their 68th FIVB World Tour as a team, they finished with a 5-1 record to earn their fifth career FIVB silver medal and 11th career FIVB final four finish
Earning the men’s bronze medal in The Hague was Netherlands’ top-seeded 2013 FIVB World Champions Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen who defeated their 23rd Dutch countrymen Jasper Bouter/Christiaan Varenhorst in straight sets, 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) in 35 minutes. Playing in their 67th FIVB World Tour event as a team, it was Brouwer/Meeuwsen's fifth career FIVB bronze medal and 16th career FIVB final four finish. Home country favorites Robert Meeuwsen, left and Alexander Brouwer earned the bronze medal for the Netherlands last week in The Hague.
In the semifinals, Latvia’s Plavins/Tocs advanced to the gold medal match by coming back to beat Netherlands’ Bouter/Varenhorst in three sets, 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-11) in 52 minutes and Poland’s Kantor/Losiak advanced by holding off Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen in straight sets 2-0 (21-14, 24-22) in 39 minutes in a match between the top two men’s seeds in the tournament.
Latvia’s Martins Plavins was selected as the men’s Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
Dela Beach Open - Women
Winning the women’s gold medal last week with an amazing perfect 10-0 match record with only one match going three sets was United States’ 13th- seeded qualifiers Alix Klineman/April Ross who stopped Brazil’s third-seeded qualifiers Maria Antonelli/Corolina Salgado in impressive straight sets, 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) in 33 minutes.USA's Alix Klineman, left and April Ross worked as one with the Mikasa during their impressive 10-win march to the gold medal last week in the Netherlands.
Playing in their first FIVB World Tour event as a team, it was the 22nd career FIVB World Tour gold medal for USA’s Olympian April Ross and the first for Klineman who is competing on the beach after a successful indoor career. Klineman becomes the first women’s player to win the gold medal in her first tournament since USA’s Karolyn Kirby/Nancy Reno won the inaugural FIVB World Tour women’s event in August of 1992.
USA’s Klineman/Ross did it the hard way, winning two country quota matches to just get into the qualifier. Then they won two more matches in qualifying to earn a spot in the main draw. In the main draw the new duo won both of their pool play matches before winning three single elimination rounds and their semifinal match just to get into the gold medal match.
Earning the women’s bronze medal in The Hague was Switzerland’s sixth-seeded Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli who upset the Czech Republic’s top-seeded Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova in impressive fashion, 2-0 (21-18, 21-10) in 36 minutes. Playing in their 21st FIVB World Tour event as a tandem, it was the third career bronze medal for Switzerland’s Betschart/Huberli and their fourth final four finish in 26 career FIVB World Tour events for the Czech Republic’s Hermannova/Slukova as a team.Bronze medallists, Switzerland's Tanja Huberli, left and Nina Betschart.
In the women’s semifinals, USA’s Klineman/Ross advanced to the gold medal match by stopping Czech Republic’s Hermannova/Slukova in straight sets, 2-0 (21-12, 21-17) in 35 minutes and Brazil’s Antonelli/Salgado advanced by defeating Switzerland’s Betschart/Huberli in straight sets, 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) in a long 55 minutes. The match length is tied for the longest two-set women’s match of the season.
In just her first FIVB World Tour event, the United States’ Alix Klineman was selected as the women’s Most Outstanding Player of the competition.Men's World Ranking
Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak with 4,698 points lead this week’s FIVB World Rankings, second is Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin with 4,520 points, third is Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola with 4,222 points, fourth is Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai with 3,920 points and fifth is Brazil’s Saymon Barbosa/Alvaro Filho with 3,956 points.
Sixth is USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena with 3,840 points, seventh is Brazil’s Olympic champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt with 3,376 points, eighth is Belgium’s Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle with 3,290 points, ninth is Austria’s Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst with 3,176 points, and 10th is Brazil’s Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhaes/Pedro Solberg with 3,168 points.
Currently 11th is Australia’s Christopher McHugh/Damien Schumann with 3,156 points, 12th is Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin with 3,140 points, 13th is Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen with 3,092 points, 14th is Spain’s Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera with 3,068 points and 15th is Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins with 2,992 points.World Ranking - MenMen's earnings
In the 2018 FIVB World Tour men’s earnings after five events, Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs leads with $20,000 in one event with one gold medal. Second is Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak with $16,000 in one event, third is Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen with $12,000 in one event, fourth is France’s Quincy Aye/Youssef Krou with $10,100 in four events and fifth is Canada’s Grant O’Gorman/Ben Saxton with $10,000 in two events. Latvia's Martins Plavins was stretched out completely as he earned the Men's Most Outstanding Player award last week at the Dela Beach Open.
Leading the second five money leaders tied for sixth with $8,000 each are Russia’s Maxim Sivolap/Igor Velichko in one event with one gold medal and Netherlands’ Jasper Bouter/Christiaan Varenhorst in one event, eighth is Belgium’s Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle with $7,600 in two events and tied for ninth with $6,500 each are Norway’s Anders Mol/Christian Sorum in two events and United States’ Miles Evans/Billy Kolinske in three events. Men's final fours
After five men’s tournaments on the 2018 FIVB World Tour, 17 countries have at least one final four placement. Tied for first with two final four placements each are France (one silver medal, one bronze medal), Netherlands (one bronze medal, one fourth place finish) and the United States (one silver medal, one bronze medal). Tied for fourth with one final four placement each are Australia (one fourth place finish), Belgium (one fourth place finish), Canada (one gold medal), Cuba (one bronze medal), Czech Republic (one silver medal), Italy (one gold medal), Latvia (one gold medal), Mexico (one silver medal), Poland (one silver medal), Russia (one gold medal), Serbia (one fourth place finish), Slovenia (one gold medal), Turkey (one bronze medal) and Ukraine (one fourth place finish).Men's winning percentage
Based on winning percentage, after five men’s events on the 2018 FIVB World Tour with a minimum of five matches played, 2018 co-leaders at 100.0 per cent are Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs (6-0) and Russia’s Maxim Sivolap/Igor Velichko (5-0). Third at 83.3 per cent us Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak (5-1), fourth at 81.8 per cent is Canada’s Grant O’Gorman/Ben Saxton (9-2) and tied for fifth at 80.0 per cent are New Zealand’s Rene Kapa/Morgan Seymour (4-1), Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez (4-1), Italy’s Marco Caminati/Enrico Rossi (4-1) and Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen (4-1), ninth is at 75.0 per cent is United States’ Miles Evans/Billy Kolinski (12-4) and 10th at 71.4 per cent is Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (5-2). Men's match wins
First with 12 wins on the 2018 FIVB World Tour standings after five events is the United States’ Miles Evans/Billy Kolinske (12-4), second with 10 wins is France’s Quincy Aye/Youssef Krou (10-6), third with nine wins is Canada’s Grant O’Gorman/Ben Saxton (9-2), fourth with eight wins is Serbia’s Djordje Klasnic/Lazar Kolaric (8-6), fifth with seven wins is France’s Arnaud Gauthier-Rat/Maxime Thiercy (7-5) and tied for sixth with six wins each are Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs (6-0), Czech Republic’s Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner (6-4) and Netherlands’ Ruben Penninga/Tom van Seenis (6-4).Women's rankings
Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca duo continues at the top of the current women’s FIVB World Rankings with 5,648 points, second is Germany’s Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude with 4,636 points, third is Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa with 4,484 points, fourth is Canada’s Melissa Humana-Parades/Sarah Pavan with 4,480 points, third is and fifth is Czech Republic’s Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova with 3,936 points.
Sixth is Brazil’s Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas with 3,812 points, seventh is Czech Republic’s Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova with 3,530 points, eighth is Switzerland’s Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli with 3,420 points, ninth is USA’s Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat with 3,380 points, 10th is Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre with 3,000 points, 11th is Australia’s Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy with 2,856 points, 12th is Canada’s Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson with 2,600 points, 13th is Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst with 2,544 points, 14th is Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee with 2,380 points and 15th is USA’s Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes with 2,320 points.World Ranking - WomenWomen's earnings
In the 2018 FIVB World Tour women’s earnings after four events, United States’ new duo of Alix Klineman/April Ross leads with $20,00 in one event with one gold medal, second is Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado with $16,000 in one event, tied for third with $12,000 each are Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy in two events with two gold medals and Switzerland’s Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli in one event, fifth is Germany’s Kim Behrens/Sandra Ittlinger with $11,400 in four events and sixth is Poland’s Katarzyna Kociolek/Kinga Kolosinska with $10,000 in two events.In her first FIVB World Tour event, USA's Alix Klineman was a power player in earning the Women's Most Outstanding Player honour while helping her team win gold in The Hague.
Women's final fours
After four women’s tournament on the 2018 FIVB World Tour, 11 countries had at least one final four placement. Leading with three final four placements is the United States (one gold medal, two bronze medals). Tied for second with two final four placements each are Australia (two gold medals), China (one silver medal, one fourth place finish) and Japan (two fourth place finishes). Tied for fifth with one final four placement each are Austria (one bronze medal), Brazil (one silver medal), Czech Republic (one fourth place finish), Germany (one silver medal), Netherlands’ (one gold medal), Poland (one silver medal) and Switzerland (one bronze medal). Women's winning percentage
Based on winning percentage after four women’s events on the 2018 FIVB World Tour with a minimum of four matches played, 2018 tri-leaders at 100.0 per cent are Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy (11-0), United States’ Alix Klineman/April Ross (10-0) and Netherlands’ Madelein Meppelink/Joy Stubbe (4-0), fourth at 87.5 per cent is Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado (7-1), fifth at 83.3 per cent is Switzerland’s Nina Betchart/Tanja Huberli (5-1), tied for sixth at 75.0 per cent each are Czech Republic’s Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova (3-1) and Brazil’s Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas (3-1) and eighth at 72.7 per cent is China’s Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia (8-3). Women's match wins
With 11 match wins on the 2018 FIVB World Tour standings after four women’s events leading is Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy (11-0) while tied for second with 10 match wins each are United States’ Alix Klineman/April Ross (10-0) and Germany’s Kim Behrens/Sandra Ittinger (10-6), tied for fourth with eight match wins each are China’s Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia (8-3) and Austria’s Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer (8-4) and tied for sixth with seven wins each are Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado (7-1) and Japan’s Azusa Futami/Akiko hasegawa (7-5).On the horizon
After four events on the 2017 portion of the 2017/2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, competition resumed January 3-7, 2018 in the Netherlands with the double-gender Dela Beach Open tournament. Next up is February 1-4 in Australia with the double-gender FIVB Shepparton 1-Star event. Growing history
The Shepparton 1-Star event will be the 373rd men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 337th women’s tournament since the FIVB launched women’s competition started in 1992.