Lausanne, Switzerland, January 26, 2015 – Voted to receive four season awards, USA’s Phil Dalhausser along with Latvia’s Janis Smedins with two awards, Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs, Brazil’s Bruno Oscar Schmidt, USA’s Jake Gibb, Brazil’s Emanuel Rego, USA’s Tri Bourne, Italy’s Paulo Nicolai and USA’s Ryan Doherty were all recognized for their play as the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball season awards were announced recently.
In voting by players, coaches, referees and officials on the popular FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, USA’s Dalhausser, who teamed for the second straight season with Sean Rosenthal in 2014, was selected as the 2014 Most Outstanding Player of the Year as well as the Best Blocker, Best Setter and Best Server for the 2014 season. The American duo won gold medals in three of the 10 events they played in during a season shortened by a serious muscle injury sustained by Dalhausser and they led the FIVB World Tour in earnings with US$318,000 in earnings.
Latvia’s J. Smedins was selected as the 2014 Best Hitter and combined with teammate Aleksandrs Samoilovs to be honored as the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball Team of the Year. The Latvian duo finished the 2014 FIVB international season No. 1 in the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball final World Season Rankings as well as winning the FIVB World Tour season point championship for the second consecutive year.
In his first full season of FIVB international competition, USA’s Bourne was selected as the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball Rookie of the Year while Brazil’s Bruno Oscar Schmidt was voted the Best Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Voted to receive the two other awards from the second year of the new Olympic cycle were Brazil’s Rego, USA’s Gibb, Italy’s Nicolai and USA’s Doherty.
Brazil’s iconic Rego was voted the Sportsman of the Year for the fifth time in the 10-year history of these special awards and USA’s Gibb was named the Most Inspirational for the second consecutive year.
Italy’s Nicolai, a 2012 Olympian who won the gold medal with teammate Daniele Lupo in the first two tournaments of the season, was selected as the 2014 Best Offensive Player on the FIVB World Tour and USA’s Doherty was honored as the Most Improved Player on the 2014 FIVB World Tour.
On the 2014 FIVB World Tour’s international stage, 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 leading up 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 along with approved Confederation, and National Federation events for the second year.
For Dalhausser, a two-time Olympian and the 2008 Olympic champion with Todd Rogers who will turn 35 on Jan. 26, won three gold medals on the 2014 FIVB World Tour with Rosenthal and the duo had a total of five podium finishes in 10 events. They won gold medals in Stavanger (Norway), Gstaad (Switzerland) and Long Beach, Calif. (USA), silver in The Hague (Netherlands) and bronze in Moscow (Russia).
“Last year was a good year, but didn’t last as long as I had planned,” said Dalhausser, who is nearing the $1 million mark in FIVB earnings. “My injury shortened my season and I think Sean and I have a lot more to develop in our preparations for Rio next year. We are improving but still have a long way to go to be in the position where we both know we need to be to win against the world’s best competition. Injuries are setbacks in many ways and I am anxious to move forward in giant steps in 2015.”
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