COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Four American beach volleyball athletes have earned postseason awards for their efforts on the FIVB World Tour. Olympian Phil Dalhausser took home the top nod as the men's Most Outstanding Player.
Phil Dalhausser, John Hyden, April Ross and Sara Hughes each earned end-of-season accolades from the FIVB for their performances on the 2017 World Tour.
Phil Dalhausser took home three awards, being named the men's Most Outstanding Player, Top Blocker and Best Offensive Player. John Hyden was named the men's Most Inspirational, April Ross the women's Best Server and Sara Hughes the women's Top Rookie.
Dalhausser is the most decorated athlete in FIVB postseason awards with 30. The three-time Olympian has earned Most Outstanding Player four times, Top Blocker seven times and Best Offensive Player on five occasions. He has also earned an FIVB award each year since 2006. This year, Dalhausser and partner Nick Lucena won three FIVB World Tour gold medals, one bronze and one of those podium finishes as the World Tour Finals Champions.
Recent USC graduate Sara Hughes won the Top Rookie award, making her the third U.S. woman to do so. Though she has played on the FIVB World Tour prior to this season, she made her full-time professional debut post-graduation in Rio de Janeiro in May.
Olympian April Ross earned her ninth FIVB postseason award with her fifth in the category of Best Server. It also marked the third-consecutive time she won the accolade, following a 2017 season that saw her win silver at the FIVB Beach World Championships with partner Lauren Fendrick.
"This season was really tough for me, probably the toughest of my career due to all the uncertainty and not feeling very prepared because of the changes I had to make right before the season started," said Ross. "Then several injuries and an illness throughout the season made it even tougher.
"To win a medal at World Championships with Lauren, and then win a postseason award allows me to look back on this season as a success, which I am extremely grateful for. This season's challenges have given me the boost in motivation that I needed and I am so excited moving forward towards Tokyo 2020!"
John Hyden completed his seventh year on the FIVB World Tour and picked up his first postseason award, being named the men's Most Inspirational, joining four other U.S. Olympians who have earned the honor. The Olympic indoor transplant has earned six podium finishes over the years on the beach.
"Everyone has that thing that makes them special," said Hyden. "For me, it's grit. I utilize my strengths and work tirelessly at my weaknesses. I may not 'wow' you but I do believe on any given day I can beat you. So if you walk out and see me on the opposite side of the net, you better be ready because I'm going to give you everything I've got. Until nothings left in the tank. That's all I got, grit."
The U.S. has 95 FIVB postseason awards, the second most of any country, Brazil leads with 111. Click here to see USA's all-time FIVB award winners.
|2017 Award Winners|
|Most Outstanding Player||Laura Ludwig, Germany||Phil Dalhausser, USA|
|Best Setter||Larissa Franca, Brazil||Bartosz Losiak, Poland|
|Best Hitter||Kira Walkenhorst, Germany||Alexander Brouwer, Netherlands|
|Best Server||April Ross, USA||Evandro Goncalves, Brazil|
|Best Rookie||Sara Hughes, USA||Anders Mol, Norway|
|Best Blocker||Sarah Pavan, Canada||Phil Dalhausser, USA|
|Best Offensive Player||Larissa Franca, Brazil||Phil Dalhausser, USA|
|Best Defensive Player||Laura Ludwig, Germany||Viacheslav Krasilnikov, Russia|
|Most Improved Player||Melissa Humana-Paredes, Canada||Sam Pedlow, Canada|
|Most Inspirational Player||Laura Ludwig, Germany||John Hyden, USA|
|Sportswoman/man of the Year||Laura Ludwig, Germany||Alvaro Filho, Brazil|