COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 12, 2007) – U.S. beach volleyball players Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Kerri Walsh (Santa Clara, Calif.) and April Ross (Newport Beach, Calif.) were honored with postseason awards from the FIVB.
The awards were based on the results of the voting by SWATCH representatives, players, coaches, referees and officials associated with the international Beach Volleyball circuit.
May-Treanor and Walsh shared the award as the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour’s top offensive players in 2007.
The 29-year old Walsh was honored as the 2007 women’s SWATCH most outstanding player as selected by representatives from SWATCH and the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB).
After claiming her 31st SWATCH-FIVB World Tour team gold medal on Nov. 4 in Thailand with the 30-year old May-Treanor, Walsh was also selected as the international circuit’s best hitter, top blocker and sportswoman of the year for the third-straight season. The Phuket title tied the FIVB record for most team wins as May-Treanor and Walsh tied Brazil’s Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede for SWATCH crowns.
May-Treanor and Walsh won seven out of eight SWATCH-FIVB tournaments in 2007, including their third-straight world championship. They lost just one international match during the season.
May-Treanor, who was the 2005 SWATCH most outstanding player, tied Walsh for sportswoman honors while edging Brazil’s Shelda as the tour’s top defensive player. The 34-year old Shelda, who won the previous two defensive honors, was voted the SWATCH most inspirational player for the third-straight season with May-Treanor and Walsh finishing second and third in the voting, respectively.
Tamsin Barnett of Australia and Germany’s Laura Ludwig were honored as the most improved players on the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour while the 25-year old Ross of the United States was selected as the rookie-of-the year. Ross teamed with Jen Boss (San Juan, Capistrano, Calif.) to win the Norwegian grand slam in Stavanger as the lowest seeded team ever to win a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event. The Americans also placed second in St. Petersburg Open in Russia.
Boss tied U.S. compatriot Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Germany’s Sara Goller for third in the most improved player category.
The United States’ Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) tied for second among the best blockers and for third in the best hitter category.
For the third-straight season, Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca were honored as the top team on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour as the young Brazilians captured five gold medals in 13 international Beach Volleyball starts in 2007 with $328,400 in earnings, the third-highest annual total in the 16-year history of women’s circuit.
In addition, the 25-year old Larissa was named the top setter on the SWATCH circuit for the second-straight season while finishing second to Walsh who is the FIVB’s top hitter in 2007. The SWATCH most outstanding player in 2006, Larissa also placed third in the voting as the top defensive player and sportswoman while receiving votes as most inspirational and top offensive player.
2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Women’s Post-Season Awards
Most Improved Player
Receiving Votes - Nila Ann Hakedal, Norway, Tyra Turner, United States, Ingrid Torlen, Norway, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece
Receiving Votes - Larissa Franca, Brazil, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece, Sara Montagnolli, Austria, Natalie Cook, Australia, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Annie Martin, Canada, Sara Goller, Germany, Adriana Behar, Brazil, Okka Rau, Germany, Vasso Karadassiou, Greece, Jia Tian, China
Rookie of the Year
1. April Ross, United States
Receiving Votes - Marie Antonelli, Brazil, Maloes Wesselink, Netherlands, Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands, Diane Pascua, Philippines, Heidi Ilustre, Philippines
Sportswoman of the Year
Receiving Votes - Jia Tian, China, Sara Montagnolli, Austria, Natalie Cook, Australia, Okka Rau, Germany, Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil, Shelda Bede, Brazil, Tyra Turner, United States, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece, Annie Martin, Canada, Helke Claasen, Germany
Best Defensive Player
Receiving Votes - Vasso Karadassiou, Greece, Okka Rau, Germany, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Shaylyn Bede, Brazil, Annie Martin, Canada, Sara Montagnolli, Austria, Renata Ribeiro, Brazil, Xi Zhang, China, Chen Xue, China
Best Offensive Player
Receiving Votes - Larissa Franca, Brazil, Xi Zhang, China, Jia Tian, China, Nicole Branagh, United States
Receiving Votes - Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil, Xi Zhang, China, Tyra Turner, United States, Liesbeth Mouha, Belgium, Stephanie Pohl, Germany, Virginie Sarpaux, France, Sabine Swoboda, Austria, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil
Receiving Votes - Shelda Bede, Brazil, Sara Goller, Germany, Kerri Walsh, United States, Teru Saiki, Japan, Emilia Nystrom, Finland, Jia Tian, China, Ana Paula Connelly, Brazil, Natalie Cook, Australia, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Elaine Youngs, United States, Nila Ann Hakedal, Norway
Receiving Votes - Juliana Felisberta Silva, Brazil, Inese Jursone, Latvia, Nicole Branagh, United States, Laura Ludwig, Germany, Sara Goller, Germany, Xi Zhang, China, Misty May-Treanor, United States, Jie Wang, China, Maria Tsiartsiani, Greece, Jen Boss, United States, April Ross, United States, Nila Ann Hakedal, Norway, Antje Roder, Germany
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com