May-Treanor, Walsh, Branagh Receive FIVB Honors

Nov. 26, 2008, 12:42 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 26, 2008) – U.S. beach volleyball player and two-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor was named the FIVB’s top player of 2008 along with China’s Xi Zhang on Wednesday.

May-Treanor, 30, captured three "most outstanding player of the event" awards on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour this season and also won the award at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. May-Treanor was named the SWATCH most outstanding player at 2008 FIVB stops in Berlin, Paris and Stavanger, Norway. May-Treanor and Walsh have won their last 69 international matches with 10-straight gold medal finishes.

May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) was also named the top player in 2005 with her partner Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.) winning the award in 2007.

May-Treanor and Walsh also captured 2008 individual awards along with the United States’ Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.), who became the first player in SWATCH FIVB World Tour history to win medals with three different partners during one international beach volleyball season.

After winning four SWATCH FIVB World Tour titles in 2008, May-Treanor and Walsh have increased their FIVB record for gold medals to 35 for 59 events with $1,540,540 in earnings to rank second behind Brazil’s Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar on the all-time list. May-Treanor and Walsh have reached the FIVB podium 50 times with 52 semifinal appearances together and a 346-35 match record.

May-Treanor was also named the 2008 top defensive and best offensive player and shared the sportsperson-of-the-year honor with Walsh for the second-straight season. Walsh won the top blocker award for the fourth-straight season and was third in voting for best offensive player.

May-Treanor and Walsh finished second and third respectively in voting for most inspirational player, which was won by Brazil’s Shelda.

The 29-year-old Branagh, who won SWATCH gold medals this season with Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) in Barcelona and Walsh in Dubai, was honored as the most improved player on the international circuit. Branagh and May-Treanor finished in a tie for second for best hitter.

Branagh ended the season by placing second and third in the final two SWATCH FIVB World Tour stops in Thailand and China with Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.). Branagh and Youngs placed fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games.

In addition to winning her fourth-straight most inspirational player award, the 35-year-old Shelda partnered with Ana Paula to win the SWATCH team-of-the-year honors as the Brazilians won three FIVB gold medals this season in Poland, Switzerland and Australia en route to the point’s championship.

Shelda is first on the individual all-time women’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour earnings list with $1,268,683 for a record 138 events. For 120 FIVB starts together, Shelda and Adriana compiled a record $2,207,965 in winnings with 31 gold medals, 85 podium placements and 96 semifinal appearances.

A two-time, beach volleyball Olympian, Ana Paula has won 11 SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medals with five different partners. With $249,800 in winnings this season with Shelda, Ana Paula’s share propelled her into a top 10 ranking on the career FIVB’s individual earnings lists ($615,228).

The 25-year-old Maria Clara was honored as the SWATCH top server for the 2008 season after setting a tour record with an 86 km per hour serve at June’s stop in Poland where she and her sister captured the Stare Jablonki medal. Ana Paula (83.0), the winner of the service award the previous five years, placed third this season behind American April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) whose top serve was 85.7 km per hour.

The 24-year-old Bibiana Candelas of Mexico was named the rookie-of-the year as she and partner Mayra Garcia posted all eight of their qualifying finishes for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Despite competing in only 11 of the 19 women’s events on the 2008 SWATCH FIVB World Tour, Candelas and Garcia were still the 29th-ranked team on the international circuit for Mexico’s best team finish since 2003.
2008 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Women’s Post-Season Awards

Most Improved Player
1. Nicole Branagh, United States
2. Maria Antonelli, Brazil
3. Stephanie Schwaiger, Austria
Also receiving votes - Tyra Turner, United States, April Ross, United States, Bibiana Candelas, Mexico, Vanilda Leão, Brazil, Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil, Katrin Holtwick, Germany, Ilka Semmler, Germany, Doris Schwaiger, Austria, Ingrid Torlen, Norway, Karin Lundquist, Sweden, Mayra Garcia, Mexico, Efthalia Koutroumanidou, Greece, Daniela Gioria, Italy, Giulia Momoli, Italy

Most Inspirational Player
1. Shelda Bede, Brazil
2. Misty May-Treanor, United States
3. Kerri Walsh, United States
Also receiving votes - Natalie Cook, Australia, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Larissa Franca, Brazil, Sabine Swoboda, Austria, Sara Montagonilli, Austria, Doris Schwaiger, Austria, Stephanie Schwaiger, Austria, Maria Antonelli, Brazil, Emilia Nystrom, Finland, Ericka Nystrom, Finland, Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil

Rookie of the Year
1. Bibiana Candelas, Mexico
2. Maria Antonelli, Brazil
3. Anja Gunther, Germany
Also receiving votes - Anna Scarlett, New Zealand, Evgenia Ukolova, Russia

Sportsman of the Year
1. Misty May-Treanor, United States
1. Kerri Walsh, United States

3. Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil
3. Natalie Cook, Australia
3. Shelda Bede, Brazil
Also receiving votes - Talita Antunes, Brazil, Ingrid Torlen, Norway, Larissa Franca, Brazil, Liesbeth Mouha, Belgium, Xi Zhang, China, Jie Wang, China

Best Defensive Player
1. Misty May-Treanor, United States
2. Shelda Bede, Brazil
3. Jia Tian, China
Also receiving votes - Larissa Franca, Brazil, Natalie Cook, Australia, Xi Zhang, China, Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Doris Schwaiger, Austria

Best Offensive Player
1. Misty May-Treanor, United States
2. Xi Zhang, China
3. Kerri Walsh, United States
3. Larissa Franca, Brazil
Also receiving votes - April Ross, United States, Nicole Branagh, United States, Rachel Wacholder, United States, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Vasso Karadassiou, Greece, Sara Goller, Germany, Jia Tian, China, Doris Schwaiger, Austria, Talita Antunes, Brazil

Best Blocker
1. Kerri Walsh, United States
2. Talita Antunes, Brazil
3. Chen Xue, China
3. Tamsin Barnett, Australia
Also receiving votes - Elaine Youngs, United States, Tyra Turner, United States, Bibiana Candelas, Mexico, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece, Liesbeth Mouha, Belgium, Jie Wang, China, Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil, Ilka Semmler, Germany

Best Setter
1. Larissa Franca, Brazil
1. Vasso Karadassiou, Greece
3. Shelda Bede, Brazil
3. Laura Ludwig, Germany
3. Ilka Semmler, Germany
Also receiving votes - Misty May-Treanor, United States, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil, Jia Tian, China, Jie Wang, China, Sara Goller, Germany, Shanna Mullins, Great Britain, Renata Ribeiro, Brazil, Stephanie Schwaiger, Austria, Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil

Best Hitter
1. Larissa Franca, Brazil
2. Sara Goller, Germany
2. Nicole Branagh, United States
2. Misty May-Treanor, United States
Also receiving votes - Kerri Walsh, United States, April Ross, United States, Xi Zhang, China, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece, Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil, Nila Ann Hakedal, Norway, Talita Antunes, Brazil, Tamsin Barnett, Australia, Jie Wang, China, Vasso Karadassiou, Greece, Jia Tian, China, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil

Women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Award Winners

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

Best Blocker
2008 - Walsh, United States
2007 - Walsh, United States
2006 - Walsh, United States
2005 - Walsh, United States

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

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

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

Best Server
2008 - Maria Clara Salgado, Brazil
2007 - Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil
2006 - Ana Paula, Brazil
2005 - Ana Paula, Brazil
2004 - Ana Paula, Brazil
2003 - Ana Paula, Brazil

Best Setter
2008 - Larissa, Brazil & Vasso Karadassiou, Greece
2007 - Larissa, Brazil
2006 - Larissa, Brazil
2005 - May-Treanor, United States

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

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

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

Team of the Year
2008 – Shelda/Ana Paula, Brazil
2007 - Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca, Brazil
2006 - Juliana/Larissa, Brazil
2005 - Juliana/Larissa, Brazil

Top Rookie
2008 - Bibiana Candelas, Mexico
2007 - April Ross, United States
2006 - Chen Xue, China
2005 - Talita Antunes, 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
Season Team, Country
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