With its second event in Russia this season completed Sunday, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) takes a week off before it continues the qualification process for placement into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour heads back to Asia for the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Xiamen Open in China (Sept. 22-27).
Last week saw teams from Latvia and Italy win the gold medals at the $150,000 FIVB Sochi Open in Russia, the 13th men’s and 14th women’s event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour calendar.
Next week’s visit to China will be the fifth double-gender event in a six-week window as the 2015 FIVB World Tour concludes with the FIVB Xiamen Open, the final point event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour. The special double-gender $500,000 Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States on Sept. 29 to Oct. 4, the week after the FIVB Xiamen Open.
In the men’s competition last week in Sochi, winning the gold medal with a 7-0 record for their second win of the season and second straight was Latvia’s two-time FIVB World Tour season point champion Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins. Samoilovs/J. Smedins, who played a limited schedule so far this year as J. Smedins recovered from knee surgery, earned a straight set victory over USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, 24-22, 21-19 in 44 minutes. It was the sixth FIVB World Tour title for Samoilovs, seventh for J. Smedins, and sixth as a team. In the bronze medal match, Italian Olympians Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai won their first FIVB World Tour medal of the year by coming from behind to finally overcome home country favorites Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov, 21-18, 15-21 and 15-13 in 55 minutes.
USA’s Dalhausser/Lucena came back to upset Russia’s Semenov/Krasilnikov in the semifinals, 13-21, 21-16 and 15-8 in 45 minutes to advance to the gold medal match while Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins beat Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai in the other semifinal in two sets, 21-17, 21-17 in 38 minutes to advance.
In the women’s competition in Sochi, Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth won their first FIVB career gold medal and first FIVB gold for their country with a perfect 7-0 record including 14-1 sets, winning the gold medal match over Switzerland’s first-time medalists Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre in straight sets, 21-19 21-16 in 41 minutes. Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr won the bronze medal by defeating another first-time final four team in Finland’s Taru Lahti/Rikka Lehtonen in straight sets, 21-18, 21-18 in 44 minutes.
To reach the gold medal match with their semifinal victories, Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth defeated Heidrich/Zumkehr, 21-18, 21-17 in 44 minutes and Switzerland’s Forrer/Verge-Depre stopped Finland’s Taru/Lehtonen in straight sets as well, 21-16, 21-16 in 38 minutes.
MEN’S WINNERS SHARE
Last week’s FIVB Sochi Open men’s champions Samoilovs/J. Smedins of Latvia earned 500 points on the FIVB World Tour and picked up the gold medal purse of $11,000. USA’s runner-up Dahlhausser/Lucena earned 450 valuable points in the FIVB World Tour rankings as well as earning $8,000 in prize money. Italy’s bronze medalists Lupo/Nicolai earned $6,000 in prize money and 400 points that also go toward the Olympic qualification rankings. Russia’s Semenov/Krasilnikov received 350 points and $4,500 in prize money for their fourth place finish.
WOMEN’S WINNERS ROLL
Last week’s FIVB Sochi Open women’s champions Menegatti/Orsi Toth also earned 500 points on the FIVB World Tour and also picked up the gold medal purse of $11,000. Switzerland’s runner up Forrer/Verge-Depre earned 450 valuable points in the FIVB World Tour Rankings as well picking up the $8,000 purse to split from their silver medal placement and Switzerland’s bronze medal duo Heidrich/Zumehr earned $6,000 in prize money and 400 points that also go towards the Olympic qualification rankings. Finland’s fourth place Lahti/Lehtonen picked up 350 points and $4,500 in prize money.
After 13 events, Brazil’s 2015 FIVB World Champions, Gstaad, Yokohama, Long Beach and Olsztyn gold medalists Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt duo leads the FIVB World Tour point standings with 6,070. Brazil’s Pedro Solberg/Evandro Goncalves duo is second in the standings with 4,960. Third is Netherlands’ 2013 FIVB World Champions Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen with 4,540 points, fourth with 4,220 points is Netherlands’ Reinder Nummerdor/Christian Varenhorst and in fifth is USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson with 4,080 points. With J. Smedins out for much of the season, Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins have moved up to 13th in six events with 3,520 points
In the 2015 FIVB World Tour men’s season earnings after 13 events, Brazil’s Alison/Bruno tandem leads with $345,500 in prize winnings, followed in second by Brazil’s Solberg/Goncalves with $215,000 while third is USA’s Gibb/Patterson with $179,000, fourth Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen with $175,000, fifth is Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Varenhorst with $173,000, and sixth is Spain’s Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira with $159,375. Lavtia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins have moved up to ninth in the standings with $117,000.
For the women after 14 FIVB World Tour events, Brazil’s new FIVB World Champions Agatha/Barbara duo continues at the top of the point list with 6,350 points in 10 events, Brazil’s Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes have closed up gap and are second with 5,840 points in nine events with Canada’s Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan third with 5,070 points in 11 events. Fourth is Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta with 4,710 in nine events and fifth is Netherlands’ Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel with 4,590 points in nine events. Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth have moved up to 12th with 3,680 points in nine events.
In the 2015 FIVB World Tour women’s season earnings after 14 events, Brazil’s Larissa/Talita increased their lead with $335,000 after six wins in nine events, Brazil’s Agatha/Barbara are second with $295,000 with Brazil’s Antonelli/Juliana third with $203,500, fourth is Canada’s Bansley/Pavan with $192,375 and tied for fifth are Germany’s Ludwig/Walkenhorst tandem and Netherland’s Meppelink/Van Iersel tandem with $179,000. Italy’s Menegatti/Osi Toth have moved up to ninth with $118,000.
MEN’S FINAL FOURS
In 13 men’s tournament so far in 2015 on the FIVB World Tour, 14 countries have at least one final four placement. Leaders with 11 final four placements is Brazil (six gold medals, one silver, two bronze, two fourth places), second with eight is the Netherlands (one gold medal, four silver medals, one bronze medal, two fourth places) and third with seven final four finishes is the United States (one gold medal, three silvers, one bronze, two fourth places). Fourth with five final four finishes is Italy (one gold medal, two bronze, two fourth places) and fifth with four final four finishes is Germany (one gold, one silver, one bronze, one fourth place). Tied for sixth with three final four placements is Canada (two silver medals, one bronze) and Latvia (two gold, one silver). Tied for eighth with two final four placements each are Austria (one bronze, one fourth place), Poland (one silver, one bronze), Russia (two fourth places) and Spain (one gold, one bronze) and tied for 12th with one each are France (one bronze), Switzerland (one fourth place), and Turkey (one bronze).
WOMEN’S FINAL FOURS
In 14 women’s events this year, 11 countries have earned at least one final four finish. At the top with 21 total final four placements so far is Brazil (10 gold medals, six silver medals, three bronze medals, two fourth places). Tied for second with seven final fours each are Canada (one gold medal, two silver, three bronze, one fourth place) and Germany (two gold medals, one silver, one bronze, three fourth places), fourth with six final fours is the Netherlands (three silvers, two bronze, one fourth place), fifth with four final fours is the United States (one silver, one bronze, two fourth place finishes) tied for sixth with three are the Italy (one gold, one bronze, one fourth place) and Switzerland (one silver, one bronze, one fourth place), eight with
two is China (two fourth places) and tied for ninth with one final four each are Australia (one bronze), Finland (one fourth place) and Poland (one bronze medal).
MEN’S WINNING PERCENTAGE
Based on percentage, statistically, in men’s action after 13 events with 23 matches minimum, leading at 83.1% is Brazil’s Alison/Bruno (54-11) while second at 73.9 % is USA’s Dalhausser/Lucena (17-6), third at 73.3% is USA’s Gibb/Patterson (33-12), fourth at 72.4% is Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen (42-16). Fifth at 72.0% is Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins (34-13).
Brazil’s Cerutti/Schmidt (54-11) have the most match wins with 54, Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen (42-16) duo second with 42, third with 37 wins is Brazil’s Evandro Goncalvegs/Pedro Solberg (37-20) while fourth with 36 is USA’s Lucena/Theo Brunner (36-14), fifth with 35 is Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Varenhorst (35-14) and sixth with 34 is Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins (34-13).
WOMEN’S WINNING PERCENTAGE
For the women to date, following 14 events on the 2015 FIVB calendar with a minimum of 25 matches, Brazilian tandems have three of the top five winning percentages. Brazil’s Larissa/Talita lead at 92.9% (52-4), Brazil’s Agatha/Barbara are second at 86.4% (57-9), followed at 74.0% by Brazil’s Taiana Lima/Fernanda Alves (37-13). USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross is fourth at 72.5% (29-11), fifth is Netherlands’ Meppelink/Van Iersel at 71.4% (40-16) and Canada’s Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan is sixth at 71.0% (44-18). Ninth at 66.0% is Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth (31-16)
Leading with the most match wins so far with 57 is Brazil’s Agatha/Barbara (57-9), second with 52 is Brazil’s Larissa/Talita (52-4) while third with 44 is Canada’s Bansley/Pavan (44-18). Fourth with 40 wins is Netherlands’ Meppelink/Van Iersel (40-16). Fifth with 39 is Brazil’s Antonelli/Juliana (39-18), sixth with 38 is Germany’s Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude (38-25) and seventh with 37 wins is Brazil’s Taiana Lima/Fernanda Alves (37-13). Tied for 11th with 31 wins in Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth (31-16) while tied for ninth with 32 wins is Switzerland’s Forrer/Verge-Depre (32-23).
ON THE HORIZON
After taking this week off, the FIVB World Tour will hold its final point event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour at the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Xiamen Open (Sept. 22-27) in China.
The inaugural double-gender $500,000 Swatch 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for the top eight teams in each gender in the final 2015 FIVB World Tour Rankings plus two wild card teams will be held Sept. 29-Oct. 4. The gold medal teams in each gender at the Swatch 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals will each earn a FIVB $100,000 in prize money.
The week following Fort Lauderdale, the 2016 FIVB World Tour with placement points counting in the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will begin at the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Puerto Vallarta Open (Oct. 5-11) in Mexico.
The FIVB Xiamen Open will be the 328th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 292nd FIVB women’s tournament since they started competition in 1992.
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 features a record purse of US$9.6 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 20 venues in 15 countries. The schedule includes five FIVB Grand Slams, the new Swatch FIVB Major Series of four events, seven FIVB Opens and a special Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final in the United States. A showcase event will be the $1 million 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands.
The Olympic qualification process begins in 2015 with all FIVB World Tour events (except the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals) in 2015 up until June 13, 2016 counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 spots for each gender that will take part in each 24-team field in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on Copacabana Beach in Brazil.
FIVB WORLD TOUR PURSES
The FIVB Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Major Series competitions, all double-gender each have $800,000 in total purses. The total purse FIVB World Championships the Netherlands 2015 was $1,000,000 and $500,000 will be the total for the Swatch FIVB World Tour Season Final which will feature the top eight teams in each gender and two wild card teams.
The 10 FIVB Open tournaments in 2015, eight double-gender, one men only and one women only, will have $150,000 total purses for the double gender events and $75,000 for the single-gender competitions. The gold medal teams in each gender at FIVB Open tournaments will each split $11,000, the silver $8,000, the bronze $6,000 and fourth place $4,500.
FIVB EVENT FORMAT
Implemented in 2013, the format of all the FIVB Beach Volleyball international tournaments – whether FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, FIVB Beach Volleyball Grand Slam or FIVB Beach Volleyball Open – are the same, featuring pool play followed by single elimination knockout rounds. Country Quota playoffs have returned as needed in 2015 to determine the final teams for the qualification tournament.
Kenya Ladies Open