In 2013 the Latvian pair became the first side from their country to win the rankings title. When they reached the quarterfinals of the Durban Open, the final tournament of the year, they ensured that their nearest rivals Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt couldn’t catch them.
A new season alway brings new hope but for Adelaide beach volleyball pair Becchara Palmer and Zina Stone this year also brings a sense of urgency.
The duo will start their 2014 campaign at Glenelg Beach for round one of the National Series from today desperate to bank both ranking points and prizemoney.
Male and female teams began their preparations on Monday January 6 under the watchful eye of technical director Leticia Pessoa and head coach Marcos Miranda at the Saquarema Volleyball Development Centre and the nearby Army Physical Education School.
The AVP would like to congratulate Casey Patterson who fans chose as the 2013 FIVB Male Beach Volleyball Athlete of the Year.
In an online poll of Facebook fans, Patterson was honored along with Germany’s Laura Ludwig, who was chosen as the FIVB Female Beach Volleyball Athlete of the Year.
Patterson, along with partner Jake Gibb, enjoyed a breakout season, internationally and on the AVP tour. Together they amassed an impressive amount of medals on the 2013 FIVB tour, winning gold in Shanghai and finishing within the top five at six different tournaments. Domestically, the duo won four AVP titles in four consecutive events.
At both Ridgefield High and the University of California-Santa Barbara, Theo Brunner made his volleyball mark as an intimidating net presence, using his rangy 6’7” frame to block shots or kill them.
Brunner, an All-State player in high school and an All-American in college, is still plying his trade, although he has exchanged gyms and courts for sun and sand.