As the Olympics approach, SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals loom

Porec, Croatia, June 30, 2016 - With the US$800,000 Porec Major the fifth of nine “big” events on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour calendar, it is time to start focusing on the season’s international finale where the planet’s best Beach Volleyball players will be competing for $500,000 in prize money this September.

The SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals, which offers the richest first-place purses in international history with $100,000 awarded to the men’s and women’s winners, will be played September 8-13 at a site to be announced next month.  The top eight-ranked pairs from the international circuit plus two “wild cards” will advance to the $1-million event per gender with a maximum of two per country.

Following the Porec Major, the SWATCH Series continues with stops in Switzerland (Gstaad, July 5-10) and Austria (Klagenfurt, July 26-31).  Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the ASISCS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the end of August in the United States at Long Beach will be the final event used to determine the top eight teams for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals.

WOMEN'S NOTES (men's information to be provided Friday after the completion of their two pool play rounds Thursday).

Brazilians Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca, who won the $100,000 first-place prize at the 2015 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States on Fort Lauderdale beach in south Florida, are currently the fifth-ranked team on the 2016 FIVB World Tour ranking list.  The Brazilians defeated Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst in the Fort Lauderdale finale.

In a battle of two of the top-ranked FIVB World Tour teams, Brazilian Larissa Franca (right) hits at the Porec Major net Wednesday against Ilka Semmler of Germany

Ludwig and Walkenhorst have assumed the FIVB World Tour leadership for women after winning their first two Porec Major matches Wednesday to pass Americans April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, who are skipping this week’s event after playing eight events over the past 11 weeks to gain their Rio Olympic qualification.

The German pair is the hottest team on the FIVB circuit by winning three (Turkey, Germany and Poland) of their last four world tour appearances with a 16-match winning streak.  Ludwig and Walkenhorst, who have won 26 of their last 27 matches with a 43-4 record this season, also won the season’s first gold medal last October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

With the women’s Porec Major reaching it half-way point here Thursday with the completion of the pool play matches, here is a “real-time” look at the standings for the SWATCH finale that includes points already earned this week at the FIVB World Tour event.

Rank, Team, Country, Points (*2015 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals participant as a team)
1, Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany, 4,220*
2, April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, United States, 4,010 (not competing in Porec)
3, Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, Germany, 3,940
4, Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, Italy, 3,460
5, Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil, 3,420*
6, Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug, Argentina, 3,410 (not competing in Porec)
6, Eduarda Lisboa/Elize Maia, Brazil, 3,410
8, Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland, 3,190

Here is a list of teams that are on "the outside looking in".

Rank, Team, Country, Points (*2015 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals participant as a team)
9, Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland, 2,980
10, Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, Spain, 2,910*
11, Taru Lahti/Riikka Lehtonen, Finland, 2,850
12, Linline Matauatu/Miller Pata, Vanuatu, 2,790 (not competing in Porec)
13, Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel, Netherlands, 2,590*
14, Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy, United States, 2,460* (not competing in Porec)
15, Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova, Czech Republic, 2,400
16, Barbara Hansel/Stefanie Schwaiger, Austria, 2,350
17, Ekaterina Birlova/Evgeniya Ukolova, Russia, 2,340 (not competing in Porec)
18, Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Canada, 2,320*
19, Monika Brzostek/Kinga Kolosinska, Poland, 2,220 (not competing in Porec)
20, Natalia Dubovcova/Dominika Nestarcova, Slovak Republic, 2,140  (not competing in Porec)
20, Fan Wang/Yuan Yue, China, 2,140
22, Melissa Humana-Paredes/Taylor Pischke, Canada, 2,120
23, Jantine van der Vlist/Sophie van Gestel, Netherlands, 1,960 (not competing in Porec)
24, Xinyi Xia/Chen Xue, China, 1,950 (not competing in Porec)
25, Vasiliki Arvaniti/Penny Karagkouni, Greece, 1,870 (not competing in Porec)
26, Alexandra Jupiter/Laura Longuet, France, 1,510 (not competing in Porec)
26, Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy, Australia, 1,510
28, Yulia Abalakina/Ekaterina Syrtseva, Russia, 1,480 (not competing in Porec)

Here are other top-ranked team that are on the “outside looking in” due to the country quota limit.

Rank, Team, Country, Points (*2015 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals participant as a team)
CQ, Karla Borger/Britta Buthe, Germany, 3,460
CQ, Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, Germany, 3,320*
CQ, Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil, 2,680*
CQ, Juliana Felisberta/Taiana Lima, Brazil, 2,450 (not competing in Porec)
CQ, Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat, United States, 2,300
CQ, Victoria Bieneck/Julia Grossner, Germany, 2,160
CQ, Teresa Mersmann/Isabel Schneider, Germany, 1,880
CQ, Lane Carico/Summer Ross, United States, 1,840 (not competing in Porec)
CQ, Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli, Switzerland, 1,820
CQ, Maria Antonelli/Liliane Maestrini, Brazil, 1,660
CQ, Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas, Canada, 1,540*
CQ, Rimke Braakman/Jolien Sinnema, Netherlands, 1,340
CQ, Jennifer Fopma/Brittany Hochevar, United States, 1,260 (not competing in Porec)
CQ, Anastasia Barsuk/Alexandra Moiseeva, Russia, 1,180 (not competing in Porec)


All the News