Lausanne, Switzerland, January 26, 2015 – USA’s three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings capped another brilliant season on the 2014 Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Beach Volleyball by being voted the winner of four season awards.
Joining Walsh Jennings in receiving the special season awards announced recently by the FIVB include Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva and Brazil’s Larissa Franca with two awards, while Brazil’s Talita Antunes, Brazil’s Maria Antonelli, Switzerland’s Tanja Huberli, Canada’s Humana-Parades and Germany’s Karla Borger each received one award for the 2014 season.
In voting by players, coaches, referees and officials on the popular international beach volleyball circuit, Walsh Jennings, 36 and a mother of three young children, was selected as the 2014 Most Outstanding player for the fourth time and third straight year as well as being honored in 2014 as the FIVB’s Best Blocker, Best Offensive Player and Most Inspirational Player of the Year. Walsh Jennings is tied with Larissa with 50 FIVB career gold medals.
Walsh Jennings has now been voted the Best Blocker on the FIVB World Tour seven times in the 10 years of the special awards program. It was also the second time she was honored as the Best Offensive Players and third time she has been recognized as the Most Inspirational Player on the international tour. Walsh and teammate April Ross, who won the silver medal with Jennifer Kessy in the 2012 London Olympic Games, won four of the 10 events they played in on the 2014 FIVB World Tour where they led the tour in season earnings with $282,000. Walsh Jennings has earned $1,245.670 in her illustrious FIVB career.
Brazil’s Juliana, who played the 2014 season with compatriot Antonelli, was voted the Sportsperson of the Year and she and Antonelli were voted the 2014 FIVB women’s Team of the Year as they finished the year as the No. 1 team in the Women’s World Season Rankings as well as winning the 2014 FIVB World Tour season point championship. For Juliana, it was a record eighth FIVB season point championship and first for Antonelli.
Brazil’s Larissa, who did not play on the FIVB World Tour in 2013 after earning seven world tour titles with Juliana and the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic games, was voted for 2014 as the tour’s Best Defensive Player and Best Setter. Larissa has now won the Best Defensive Player award three times and the Best Setter award an amazing eight times in the 10-year history of these prestigious awards. Larissa, who teamed with Talita midway through the 2014 season and won four gold medals, now has $1,457,237 in FIVB career earnings.
Brazil’s Talita was selected as the 2014 Best Hitter for the second straight season while the three first-time winners in 2014 were Switzerland’s Huberli (Most Improved Player), Canada’s Humana-Parades (Top Rookie) and Germany’s Borger (Best Server).
On the international stage of the women’s 2014 FIVB World Tour, 10 FIVB Grand Slams and seven FIVB Opens were held as teams from around the globe finished the second year of the current Olympic cycle on the road to the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. Part of the numerous initiatives of the current FIVB administration, the FIVB World Season Rankings included FIVB World Tour events along with approved Confederation, and National Federation points.
“I continue to be humbled and honored with these FIVB season awards,” said Walsh Jennings. “April and I had a good alliance in 2014 and our aspirations continue to be focused on Rio in 2016 and the Olympic Games. There are great young players springing up all over the world and I have promised myself and my country that I will continue to extend myself to known limits and beyond to be the be the best player and best teammate that I am capable of being at this stage in my life.”
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