Dalhausser, Walsh Jennings shine in FIVB awards

USA athletes shine in 2014 FIVB awards

Jan. 26, 2015, 5 a.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS - A successful year for USA's beach teams led to a sweeping of the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball awards. Phil Dalhausser and Kerri Walsh Jennings nabbed multiple awards to lead the Americans in accolades, voted by players, coaches, referees and officials from the FIVB World Tour.

Phil Dalhausser and Kerri Walsh Jennings each took four multiple awards while Jake Gibb, Tri Bourne and Ryan Doherty were recognized as well by the FIVB.

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Dalhausser was selected as the 2014 Most Outstanding Player of the Year, as well as Best Blocker, Best Setter and Best Server.

"It's an honor that I got all those awards," Dalhausser said. "The players, coaches and ref vote, it's nice to be acknowledged by your peers." When asked about accomplishments he and partner Sean Rosenthal had during the season, Dalhausser commented, "Making four finals in a row was a big accomplishment. The FIVB World Tour is as deep as its ever been. I've been playing for about 10 years on the FIVB, I've been around for a while. It's the toughest its ever been in my opinion, there are 14-15 teams that could win a tournament any weekend."

Teamed with partner Sean Rosenthal, Dalhausser won gold in three events in 2014 and led the FIVB World Tour in earnings with $318,000. The duo took gold in Stavenger (Norway), Gstaad (Switzerland) and Long Beach, Calif., the most amount of gold medals by a team last year.

Walsh Jennings also took home four awards. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Year, an accolade she's won four times, this being her third consecutive. She was also honored as the Best Blocker, Best Offensive Player and Most Inspirational. As impressive is Walsh Jennings' Best Blocker nod - she's earned that distinction seven of the 10 years the award has been given.

With teammate April Ross, Walsh Jennings won four FIVB World Tour events, finishing the year with a 49-6 record for an 89.1 win percentage. The duo tied for the most gold medals won in 2014, taking home the top mark in Fuzhou, Moscow, Stavanger and Long Beach.

On the men's side, Tri Bourne was selected as the FIVB Rookie of the Year, making him the third American to earn the distinction (Sean Rosenthal, 06; Jake Gibb, 05).

"It was helpful to have a veteran partner in John (Hyden)," Bourne said. "John invested a lot in me. It was huge having a partner like that. Playing in the AVP, we went against the top players. Playing against Phil (Dalhausser), Nick (Lucena), playing along with those top athletes I knew I could play with them anywhere."

The U.S. men own the most Rookie of the Year athletes and the American names sprinkle every category of the FIVB awards since they began in 2005. Commenting on the strength of the U.S. men on sand, Bourne said, "When you play for USA Volleyball, there's a vibe that we are playing for the top spot in the world. The U.S. and Brazil are always going for the top. It's not something we talk about, it's more of an unwritten rule that it's what you're playing for. The guys before me have done it and paved the way. We're trying to keep that tradition alive."

Joining Bourne and Dalhausser on the FIVB awards list are Jake Gibb and Ryan Doherty, the Most Inspirational and Most Improved, respectively.

This is the second-consecutive year Gibb was named Most Inspirational, making it his fourth FIVB award earned (Rookie, 05; team with Rosenthal, 12). Gibb and partner Casey Patterson finished the season ranked eighth and Doherty and partner Nick Lucena rounded out the Americans in the Top 25 and 15th.

U.S. Men's 2014 World Tour Rankings
2. Rosenthal-Dalhausser
5. Hyden-Bourne
8. Gibb/Patterson
15. Doherty-Lucena

U.S. Women's 2014 World Tour Rankings
3. Ross-Walsh Jennings
21. Day-Summer
23. Fendrick-Sweat

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