Eduarda 'Duda' Lisboa in action at the Gstaad Major in July
In addition to being named the top female player for the recently-completed FIVB World Tour that started in October 2017 in China and ended last month in Germany at the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Duda was also named here Tuesday as the best offensive player and best hitter.
On Monday, Anders Mol of Norway was selected as the men’s most outstanding player while also being honoured as the FIVB World Tour’s best blocker, best offensive player and most improved performer for the 2017-2018 season. And both Duda and Mol ended the international campaign in style by winning gold medals at last month’s World Tour Finals in Hamburg with Agatha Bednarczuk and Christian Sorum, respectively.
Agatha and Duda celebrate winning a point
Both Agatha and Sorum were also honoured in the 2017-2018 voting by players, referees and FIVB officials. The 35-year old Agatha was selected as the most inspirational and sportsperson of the year for women while the 22-year old Sorum was named the men’s best defensive player.
For the 2017-2018 season, Duda and Agatha won 75 percent of their matches (45-15) as the pair captured two gold medals, placed on a World Tour podium four times, finished in the final four six times while compiling $259,800 in winnings for 11 events. The pair never finished lower than ninth with nine quarterfinal appearances and Duda and Agatha are currently the top-ranked women’s team on the FIVB World Ranking list.
With three honours this season, Duda now has four post-season awards after being named the FIVB’s rookie of the year for the 2015-2016 World Tour campaign. For Agatha, who captured the gold medal at the 2015 FIVB World Championships and the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Barbara Seixa, the two awards were the first post-season honours.
Canada has three players selected for post-season awards as Heather Bansley was named the World Tour’s top defensive player for the third time in the last four seasons. Brandie Wilkerson, Bansley’s partner, was voted as the FIVB best blocker for the first time.
Heather Bansley keeps the ball in play at the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg
Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada was named the best setter for the 2017-2018 World Tour campaign as she has now been honoured for her third post-season award after being named the 2014 top rookie and the 2017 most improved player.
Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy, who won four gold medals during the 2017-2018 World tour season, were also honoured as the most improved player and best server, respectively. The last time an Australian women’s player won an award on the World Tour was in 2009 when Louise Bawden was named the top rookie.
In the voting for the top rookie, Tina Graudina of Latvia and Svetlana Kholomina of Russia tied for the honour. With Russia also boasting the FIVB’s best men’s rookie in 2017-2018 (Igor Velichko), the 20-year old Kholomina captured one gold medal in her first full season on the FIVB circuit.
Kholomina teamed with Nadezda Makroguzova to play in 11 events with a 28-19 match record and $54,320 in winnings. The pair is currently ranked 14th on the FIVB World Ranking list.
A collegiate All-American in the United States this past season at the University of Southern California, the 20-year old Graudina competed in nine FIVB events this year with Anastasija Kravcenoka as the pair won 18 of 33 matches together. The Latvians are currently listed 28th on the FIVB World Tour.Awards:
Most Outstanding Player: Eduarda 'Duda' Lisboa
Best Blocker: Brandie Wilkerson
Most Improved Player: Mariafe Artacho del Solar
Best Offensive Player: Duda
Best Hitter: Duda
Best Defensive Player: Heather Bansley
Best Server: Taliqua Clancy
Best Setter: Melissa Humana-Paredes
Most Inspirational: Agatha Bednarczuk
Rookie: Tina Graudina and Svetlana KholominaRelated article:Norwegian Mol nets FIVB “most outstanding” World Tour status