Talking Stats: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Recap - Part 1
Paulo Nicolai, left, and Daniele Lupo started the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour by winning two gold medals, the first golds for Italy on the FIVB World Tour.
The 2014 FIVB World Tour was one of the most spectacular of all time. With a FIVB record in prize money, 10 grand slams, and eight open tournaments, there were many significant events that stood out. Here is part one of three, in reverse order, a list of seven of the top 14 news-making events of the 2014 season:
Part 2 will be numbers 7 to 1 on the top seven news-making events list from last year and Part 3 will be a selection of interesting final stats from the 2014 FIVB World Tour…
14. Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins claim their second FIVB World Tour Point Championship: Winning back-to-back FIVB World Tour point championships is not unusual, but the Latvians are the first since Brazil’s Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos won five straight from 2003-2007, and the first repeat winner that was not from Brazil or the United States. Over the course of the 2014 season, the Latvian pair amassed 6,500 Points in 14 events, including 12 on the FIVB World Tour. The duo appeared in five FIVB final fours with three podium finishes – a gold medal at the FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open in May, and two silver medals at the FIVB Shanghai Open and FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam on their way to winning US$233,500 for the season. Samoilovs/J. Smedins have played 25 FIVB World Tour events together after pairing up at the beginning of the 2013 season. They also won a gold medal this season at the CEV Satellite in their home nation at Jurmala. And the finished the year with the No. 1 FIVB World Season Ranking as well as the season point title on the FIVB World Tour.
13. Countries with their all-time Best Finish in 2014: Led by the Italian and Polish men and Czech Republic women with gold medals, 19 different countries had their best all-time FIVB World Tour finishes in 2014. The list is as follows:
• Italy: gold, Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, FIVB Fuzhou Open, April 22-26
• Poland: gold, Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, FIVB The Hague Grand Slam, July 15-20
• Chile: silver, Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt, FIVB Parana Open, Oct 29-Nov 2
• Mexico: bronze, Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen, FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, May 6-10
• Kazakhstan: 4th, Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko, FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam, June 25-29
• Israel: 5th, Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman, Parana, FIVB Mangaung Open, December 9-14
• Qatar: 5th, Tiago Santos/Jefferson Pereira, FIVB Anapa Open, May 28-June 1
• Turkey: 5th, Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe, FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam, Sept 23-28
• Belarus: 9th, Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Aliaksandr Kavalenka, FIVB Anapa Open, May 28-June 1
• Ghana: 25th, Isaac Barnes/Jonathan Sarpong, FIVB Parana Open, Oct 29-Nov 2
• Iran: 25th, Saber Hoshmand/Bahman Salemi, FIVB Mangaung Open, December 9-14
• Czech Republic: gold, Kristina Kolocova/Marketa Slukova, FIVB Prague Open, May 21-25
• Slovak Republic: bronze, Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova, FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam, June 24-28
• Poland: 5th, Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska, FIVB Prague Open, May 21-25
• Lithuania: 9th, Ieva Dumbauskaite/Monika Povilaityte, FIVB Anapa Open, May 27-31
• Venezuela: 9th, Norisbeth Agudo/Olaya Pazo, FIVB Parana Open, Oct 28-Nov 1
• Azerbaijan: 17th, Raquel Ferreira/Iuliia Karimova, FIVB Parana Open, Oct 28-Nov 1
• Croatia: 25th, Dalida Vernier/Jurja Vlasic, FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open, May 7-11
• Uruguay: 25th, Eliza Cabo/Maria Eugenia Nieto, FIVB Parana Open, Oct 28-Nov1
12. Round of 16 battle in Stavanger. All eight women’s round of 16 matches at the FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam in June required three sets, marking the first time this happened for the women in an FIVB World Tour 32-team pool play, 24-team single elimination format. The previous women’s record was six three-set matches at the FIVB Rome Grand Slam in 2013. Counting both genders in the 133 FIVB World Tour events with this format, it has happened only once previously, at the men’s FIVB Berlin Grand Slam in 2013. There have also been four events with no three-set matches in the round of 16, all occurring this season in the men’s FIVB Anapa Open in May-June and the fivb Long Beach Grand Slam in July, and the women’s FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam in April-May and the women’s FIVB Prague Open in May.
11. Toughest Pool Ever. Men’s Pool A at the FIVB ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach seemed to be no more difficult than any other pool on the FIVB World Tour. The seeds were evenly matched just like all the other pools, and top-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal, of the United States, was the only team that ever finished higher than 5th-place in a previous FIVB World Tour event. However, all six of the matches in the pool needed three sets to complete – the only time that ever happened in the 1,596 four-team six-match pools in FIVB World Tour history. Only 21 previous times, in either gender, have five of the six matches required three sets. In addition to the toughness of the pool play, two teams from Pool A reached the semifinals where Dalhausser/Rosenthal defeated the 16th-seeded Germans, Alexander Walkenhorst/Stefan Windscheif in just two sets, 21-13 and 21-12.
10. April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings Perfect in Grand Slam Pool Play. Skipping only the FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam, April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States won all nine of their grand slam pools with unblemished records, finishing with a perfect 27-0 record in pool play. April and Kerri, who also went 3-0 in pool play at the season-opening FIVB Fuzhou Open in China, advanced directly into the second round of all ten elimination rounds on the way to four FIVB World Tour gold medals in 2014. Along the way the American duo only had three matches that required a third set, defeating Australia’s Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, 21-9, 16-21, and 15-9 in Shanghai, Brazil’s Carolina and Maria Clara Salgado, 27-25, 20-22, and 15-10 in Gstaad, and Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan of Canada, 21-15, 22-24, and 17-15 in The Hague.
9. We Are Legend…Again. It had been over five years since beach volleyball legends Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos had played together in an FIVB World Tour event. The duo had been a staple on the FIVB World Tour, playing in 88 events from September 2002 through September of 2009, winning 33 gold, 12 silver, and 12 bronze medals together, including a FIVB World Championship in 2003 (Rio de Janeiro) and Olympic gold in 2004 (Athens) and bronze in 2008 (Beijing) along with five consecutive FIVB World Tour Point Championships from 2003 through 2007. Emanuel and Ricardo rank 1st and 2nd, respectively, in FIVB-career tournaments (245 and 208), gold medals (77 and 56), and earnings (US$2,500,272.50 and US$1,818,282.50). So even though their combined ages are now 81 years, 2 months, and 5 days, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that they would make the finals in their “reunion” event in their home country at the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam in September. Despite losing the gold medal match, they became the oldest combined-age men’s team to make the finals of an FIVB World Tour event, eclipsing their countrymen Marcio Araujo/Benjamin Insfran, who won the FIVB Åland Open in 2011, by almost four years.
8. First French Gold in 23 Years. France had not won a gold medal on the FIVB World Tour since August of 1991 when Jean-Philippe Jodard/Christian Penigaud withstood three Brazilian teams in the semifinals to capture the only previous gold for France, at the Spanish Open in Almeria. Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson captured gold at the FIVB World Tour Xiamen Open in October, defeating Spain’s Christian Garcia/Francisco Alfredo Marco, 22-20, 19-21, and 15-12 in 57 minutes. Krou, who was playing his first season on the FIVB World Tour, improved his previous best of 17th-place at the previous FIVB World Tour event, the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam. Rowlandson, who was playing his second FIVB World Tour season, improved on a previous-best ninth-place finish with Andy Ces at last season’s FIVB World Tour Durban Open. France also had not won an FIVB World Tour medal of any color since November of 2008 when Andy and Kevin Ces won bronze at the Bahrain Open in Manama.
As part of the initiatives of FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° and his leadership team, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball international calendar also included a record four age-group FIVB World Championships and the 2014 Nanjing (China) Youth Olympic Games Aug. 17-27).
Poland’s Maciej Kosiak/Maciej Rudol won the men’s gold medal for the home country and Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Nicole Laird capturing the women’s gold medal for the second annual FIVB U23 World Championships in Myslowice, Poland. Capturing the gold medals in the inaugural FIVB U17 World Championships in Acapulco, Mexico were Switzerland’s Florian Breer/Yves Haussener and USA’s Morgan Martin/Kathryn Plummer. Winning the 14th FIVB U21 World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus were Poland’s Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak and Canada’s Sophie Bukovec/Tiadora Miric. The 13th FIVB U19 World Championships in Porto Portugal were won by Brazil’s Arthur Mariano/George Wanderley for the men and in the women’s competition the winners were Brazil’s Andressa Cavalanti/Eduarda Lisboa.
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar will feature a record purse of US$9.3 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 18 venues in 17 countries. The pre-Olympic 2015 season will have six FIVB Grand Slams, a new FIVB Major Series involving four tournaments, a special FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States and six FIVB Opens, totaling 17 tournaments.
The double gender FIVB Fuzhou Open, which was the first event on this year’s calendar, will again begin the 2015 season on April 21-26. From June 26-July 5 all eyes will be on the Dutch cities of The Hague, Apeldoorn, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which will host the $1 million 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in The Netherlands.
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