With 2019’s beach volleyball season in its last legs, the time has come for the FIVB awards. Similar to AVP’s system, the awards are voted by the players themselves.
Though full awards list has yet to be announced, we are glad to congratulate the following winners:
Most Improved - Male Duo: Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler, Germany
2019’s the year to remember for Julius and Clemens as they stamped their names on the beach volleyball scene. They swept their rivals out of the way and went all the way to the finals in Hamburg in July. They then took second place in The Hague after battling their way to the finals once again.
The duo added a bronze to their medal collection at the Moscow 4-Star, and another silver at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Rome recently. This streak of medals hammered home the message that they are amongst the team to beat, and are considered among the medal contenders at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Most Improved - Female Duo: Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka, Latvia
The Latvian duo ended the season in a buoyant mood after securing a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Their second year in the world tour, they blitzed their competition in Haiyang, China, at the Olympic qualification tournament, winning their first FIVB tournament and neatly sealed their spot to the 2020 Olympics.
They capped the season off with a podium finish in Moscow at the CEV European Championships where they held off Poland’s Katarzyna Kociolek and Kinga Wojtasik to the gold medal.
Best Offensive Player - Male: Anders Mol, Norway
Pairing Mol’s power at the front of the court and his partner, Sorum’s agility at the back is likely the Norwegian team’s craftiest move yet. Mol’s ability and pure offensive power meant the duo swept their way to victory in 2019 with eight FIVB gold medals in their trophy collection.
Even though they fell short at the Hamburg 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and subsequently the Rome 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals, Mol has showcased his abilities and can only improve from here.
Best Offensive Player - Female: Duda Lisboa, Brazil
Duda Lisboa is only 21 years old, but she’s had 5 years of competitive experience under her belt. While she is listed as a defensive player, her built and instincts for offense usually bring her forth for an attack at the net.
She’s played alongside Agatha Bednarczuk since 2017 and together the duo has won two World Tour gold medals as well as two bronzes. Having won at the Ostrava and Tokyo 4-Stars, the duo are one of the two Brazilian women’s teams to represent their country at the Olympics.
FIVB Best Blocker - Male: Anders Mol, Norway
Standing in at 200cm, the Norwegian leaves little room for maneuver when his rivals comes up at him at the net. Anders’ frame, overall blocking and power counts towards his points-scoring abilities, and so he continues to dominate the beach volleyball scene with his partner Christina Sorum.
FIVB Best Blocker - Female: Sarah Pavan, Canada
At 6feet and 5 inches, Sarah is one of the tallest women competing in the FIVB tournaments. Blessed with long reach and a strong left arm, she leaves her opponents with the tiniest attack spaces, while she dominates the front of the court.
FIVB Best Defender - Male: Christian Sorum, Norway
A familiar name having read about Anders Mol in the beginning, Christian Sorum sweeps up what Anders lets past. What Anders is unable to keep away, Christian will be there to pick it up and turn into an attack.
FIVB Best Defender - Female: Melissa Humana-Paredes, Canada
Melissa has improved by leaps and bounds since linking up with Sarah Pavan. Her quickness at the back of the court mean Sarah is able to work her magic at the net with the assurance that Melissa has got her back.
With her teammate being named Best Blocker and Melissa taking home the best defender award, this Canadian duo is probably the most difficult team in the tournaments to score against.
FIVB Most Outstanding Team - Melissa Humana-Paredes, Sarah Pavan, Canada
They have been a duo for three years and have taken home plenty of medals, from the Edmonton 3-Star to the Vienna 5-Star, as well as the World Championship. Adding onto their medal collection are the accolades they have received; Best Blocker, Best Defender, Best Setter to name a few. They are the team to beat.
There are more awards to be announced by the FIVB, we will update with additional stories as they are released.