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Mar 07 Beach Volleyball Roundup: U.S. Players Honored

Nov. 29, 2011, 6:44 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 28, 2011) – Four U.S. beach volleyball players have been honored with end-of-season awards from the FIVB.

The awards were voted on by players, coaches, referees and officials on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour.

On the women’s side, Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) was named Best Blocker and Most Inspirational. It was fifth time she was honored as the tour’s Best Blocker (first since 2008) and the first time she was selected as the tour’s Most Inspirational.

April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) won Best Hitter and Best Server. Ross was selected as the Best Hitter for the second time in the last three years and was named Best Server for the first time. Ross’ serving award was determined by her top Swatch serve speed of 85.0kmh recorded during this year’s season-ending event in Phuket, Thailand.

Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.), who has teamed with Walsh for two Olympic gold medals, earned the Best Defensive Player award for the third time.

On the men’s side, Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) was named Best Setter for the third straight year.

The 2011 FIVB beach volleyball calendar featured 15 women's and 14 men's events within all five FIVB confederations plus one special 24-team single-gender women’s test event held Aug. 9-14 at London’s Horse Guards Parade, the venue for beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour offered $7.64-million in prize money. Twelve of the tournaments were combined men's and women's events, including the World Championships and the six Grand Slam stops. The men’s tour concluded in October in Agadir Morocco.

FIVB REVEALS 2012 WORLD TOUR SCHEDULE

The FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour 2012 schedule will feature a total of 14 events in 15 countries over a seven-month period, including a record-breaking nine Grand Slam tournaments – increasing from six in 2011 – the FIVB has announced.

There will also be eight Open events, six of which will be single-gender competitions.

With total prize money of $7.3 million on offer, the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour 2012 will include Grand Slams offering $600,000 prize money in Beijing, Moscow, Rome, Stavanger, Gstaad, Klagenfurt, Stare Jablonki as well as Shanghai, which has been upgraded from an Open event, and Berlin, which may return to the calendar for the first time since 2008. The latter event will be confirmed in the near future.

The World Tour could also see a return to Rio de Janeiro after seven years away, but it is still yet to be decided, with Brazilian capital Brasilia yet to reach a decision. Furthermore, the Phuket Open has been taken off the calendar with an Open event now taking place in Bang Saen, Thailand.

The FIVB SWATCH World Tour will begin with a double gender Open in either Brasilia or Rio de Janeiro on April 16-22 ahead of the first Grand Slam in Shanghai, China on April 30-May.

One of the highlights of the year will undoubtedly be the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27-Aug. 12, but before that comes the five Beach Volleyball Continental Cup final tournaments on June 18-24 followed by the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Olympic Qualification on June 25-July 1, both of which offer duos a last chance at qualification. The five national federations from each confederation to win the Continental Cup will earn a ticket to London while the two countries per gender from the World Cup Olympic qualification tournament will also qualify. The location of these events will be decided later this year.

The 16 places per gender to qualify directly from the World Tour will be decided following the Rome Grand Slam on June 12-17. The national federations with the 12 best results between the World Championships, World Tour and recognized Continental Tours from January 1, 2011 up until this date will automatically earn a berth at the Olympic Games.

To view the entire 2012 calendar, click here.

U.S. PAIR PLACES SECOND IN CHINA

U.S. beach volleyball players Brooke Sweat (Fort Meyers, Fla.) and Kaitlin Sather (Santa Rosa, Calif.) teamed up to win the silver medal at an international event Nov. 25-27 in Foshan, China.

The team won both its pool play matches and advanced to the quarterfinals, where it beat a team from Malaysia.

Sather and Sweat topped a team from Kazakhstan in the semis and in the final faced a German team they had defeated in pool play. This time, the European team won in three sets.

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