World champs Cheng and Hughes top the Ostrava Beach Pro Tour event

June 9, 2024.- Reigning world champions Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes of the United States won the Ostrava Elite 16 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour title on Sunday in Czechia.

The women’s tournament in Ostrava saw the return of world champions Cheng and Hughes to the top of the podium for the first time since their victory at last year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship, last October. To do that, the Americans downed Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson 2-1 (21-13, 21-23, 15-12) in the gold medal match.

Ostrava Elite16 – Final Results

Podium Men and Women

It was the sixth international and ninth overall victory of the two since they joined forces for the second time in their careers, at the end of 2022. It was also the second title of the 28-year-old Cheng in Ostrava, where she had won in 2021 with former partner Sarah Sponcil.

“Kelly and I just wanted to play together,” Hughes explained. “We just focused on our side of the net because they’re an incredible team. We knew we just had to do what it took to put the ball away and we did that. The fans here in Ostrava are among the best we ever played for, so I’d just like to thank them too.”

Men Podium

In the men’s field, Americans Andy Benesh and Miles Partain secured their best result of the season so far in Ostrava, beating Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway, who were returning to international competition after three months of absence, 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) in the bronze medal match.

The next two weeks in international beach volleyball will be dedicated to the Continental Olympic Qualifiers, with each of the five continental Confederations holding their events.

The Beach Pro Tour will have its next Elite16 event in Gstaad, Switzerland, from July 3-7.

Alayo and Diaz Won Silver in Stare Jablonki and are in Olympic Qualification Zone

STARE JABLONKI, Poland June 2, 2024.- Cubans Jorge Alayo and Noslen Díaz won the silver medal on Sunday, at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Stare Jablonki Challenge in Poland, which put them in Olympic Qualification Zone.

World champions Czech Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner beat Cuban sensations Jorge Alayo and Noslen Diaz 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-11) to secure the title.

Podium Poland

Stare Jablonki Challenge – Final Results

Alayo and Diaz also went to three sets but won 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-10) to Caprogosso siblings of Argentina.

The results of the Stare Jablonki Challenge caused significant changes in the FIVB Olympic Rankings with just one tournament left in the qualification period, involving teams that were just outside the qualification zone and also ones who are battling other duos from their own countries for a spot in the Paris Games.

Selfie

Men’s silver medalists Alayo and Diaz started the event outside the qualification zone but are now well inside it with the 760 points they collected, getting to 7,800. With that, Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt, who have 7,260, were pushed down the list and are now looking from the outside.

The same movement happened among the women, in which Canadians Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain, who fell in semifinals to 0-2 (11-21, 18-21) to Latvia’s Tina/Anastasija, were the last team inside the zone, also added points, but got only to 6,660 and are now outside.

The Olympic qualification period comes to an end next week, after the conclusion of the Ostrava Elite16, which will go from Wednesday to Sunday in Czechia.

USA’s Kloth/Nuss secure Espinho Gold two months before Paris

ESPINHO, Portugal, May 26, 2024.- Medal contenders for the upcoming Paris Olympics, USA’s Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss secured an important victory just two months before the start of the event, taking gold at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Espinho Elite16 on Sunday.

The tournament held at the Praia da Baía was the fourth of seven Elite16 events set to happen before the start of the Games and had one of the strongest fields of the season, with almost all the top teams of international beach volleyball making the trip to Portugal.

USA Gold Medal

Kloth, 27, and Nuss, 26, got to celebrate their sixth gold on the Beach Pro Tour and their first in 2024 after taking silver earlier this month in Brasília with a dramatic 2-1 (17-21, 28-26, 15-10) victory over Swiss Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli in a match in which they had to avoid six match points from their opponents in the second set before triumphing in the tie-breaker.

“This is absolutely unreal,” Nuss told Volleyball World. “It was such a battle. I think we go to three every single time against that Swiss team, they’re phenomenal athletes. It was pretty fun to just battle in this wind. The stadium was packed for the finals and for us, athletes, it means a lot to play in this atmosphere.”

Nuss and Kloth USA celebrate Espinho gold medal

Espinho Elite16 – Final Results

From Espinho, the Beach Pro Tour heads to the Polish city of Stare Jablonki, which will host the second-to-last event in the Olympic qualification period, from May 30-June 2. The Challenge event will mark the return of international beach volleyball to the city for the first time since 2014.

The last event of the Olympic qualification period will be held in Ostrava, Czechia, from June 5-9, and will be an Elite16 tournament.

Kloth/Nuss Win Silver in Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil, May 6, 2024- USA’s Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss won the silver medal from the Elite 16 Beach Volleyball Pro Tour in Brasilia over the weekend.

Kloth and Nuss, currently No.2 in the world, lost to No.1 Ana Patricia/Duda of Brazil 0-2 (17-21, 14-21) in the gold medal match.

Earlier in semifinals, the Americans recovered from losing the first set to Swiss Esmée/Zoe to advance to the title match 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-12).

Brasilia Elite 16 Beach Pro Tour Medalists

Brasília Elite16 – Final Results

The next Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event of the season will take place in Espinho, Portugal, later this month, from May 22-26.

NORCECA Final Standings

MEN 5 Evans/Budinger (USA)& Partrain/Benesh (USA); 13 Crabb Tr./Brunner (USA)

WOMEN 5 Hughes/Cheng (USA); 9 Melissa/Brandie (CAN); 21 Bansley/Bukovec (CAN) & Pavan/McBain (CAN)

Cuba’s Noslen Diaz & Jorge Alayo won bronze at their first Main Draw Elite 16

TEPIC, Mexico, April 21, 2024.- Cuba’s Noslen Diaz & Jorge Alayo continued their fabulous season by snatching bronze at their first Elite16 main draw appearance after beating Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers on Sunday in Tepic, Mexico.

13th-seeded Diaz & Alayo, who started the tournament from the qualifiers, delivered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) upset of fifth-seeded Wickler & Ehlers. Alayo contributed six kill blocks towards the victory to finish with 21 points, while Ehlers was the best scorer of the match with 23. It was the fourth consecutive final four finish on the Beach Pro Tour for the Cuban duo. In the previous three Challenge events, they collected two silvers and a fourth place. The Tepic tournament was the first time they played in an Elite16 main draw, and the bronze earned will help them a lot in their quest to climb up the provisional Olympic ranking and qualify for Paris.

In their semifinal match, Diaz & Alayo took the first set, but Brazil’s Andre Stein & George Wanderley mounted a 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 15-12) comeback.

Swedish David Ahman & Jonatan Hellvig defended the Tepic trophy edging Brazil’s Andre & George in three sets 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-10) to celebrate their seventh Beach Pro Tour gold.

In the women’s field, Switzerland’s Nina Brunner & Tanja Huberli celebrated their first-ever Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour gold after defeating Netherlands’ Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon 2-1 (21-14, 19-21, 19-17) victory. Brazil’s Barbara Seixas & Carol Solberg squeezed out a bronze victory over Italy’s Marta Menegatti & Valentina Gottardi 2-1 (22-20, 21-23, 25-23).

VW Beach Pro Tour Tepic Elite16: all results

Crabb & Brunner top Men’s podium and Bansley & Bukovec take Women’s Bronze in Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, April 14, 2024.- USA’s Trevor Crabb & Theodore Brunner gained an important edge in the race towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France by snatching the men’s gold while Canada’s Heather Bansley & Sophie Bukovec took the women’s bronze at the Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Guadalajara.

15th-seeded Trevor Crabb & Theodore Brunner advanced to the Guadalajara knockouts as Pool C runners-up and won their next four games (all four of them in tiebreakers!) to snatch their second Beach Pro Tour gold, after topping the podium at the Espinho Challenge last summer. They also have the Haikou Challenge silver from November in their collection.

In their last two matches, the Americans had to come back from a set down but persevered on the way to a 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-13) semifinal win over third-seeded Cubans Noslen Diaz & Jorge Alayo and a 2-1 (12-21, 21-19, 15-12) victory in the final against eighth-seeded Pfretzschner & Winter of Germany.

In the women’s field, Bansley & Bukovec, who launched their participation in the tournament from Thursday’s qualifiers, but then also started the main draw with a defeat, bounced back from their narrow semifinal loss with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) victory over German’s Borger & Ittlinger to get the bronze, their third Beach Pro Tour medal, after the Halifax Futures gold in September and the Recife Challenge silver in March.

In their semifinal game, Bansley & Bukovec fell 1-2 (18-21, 21-18, 18-21) to Switzerland’s Esmee Bobner & Zoe Verge-Depre who later won the gold medal. 

The Beach Pro Tour will stay in Mexico for this week’s Tepic Elite16 event from April 17 to 21. The next Challenge event is in Xiamen, China from April 25 to 28.

Guadalajara Challenge: results and standings

Díaz and Alayo win another Silver at a Beach Pro Tour Challenge event

SAQUAREMA, Brazil, April 1, 2024. – The Cuban duo of Noslen Díaz and Jorge Luis Alayo secured the silver medal at the Challenge Beach Pro Tour World Beach Volleyball event held last weekend in Saquarema, Brazil, marking their second consecutive silver at this level.

The Cubans fought hard against hosts George Souto and Andre Loyola, who needed three sets (21-18, 17-21, 19-17) in the gold medal match.

Díaz and Alayo amassed five victories against two defeats, matching their outstanding performance from the previous week in Recife, where they also claimed a silver medal after losing in the final to a Brazilian pair (Evandro and Arthur).

The Cuban team began their journey to the final in elimination group B. They lost to hosts Vinicus Freitas and Frank Heitor (18-21, 14-21), but stayed alive by defeating Ukrainians Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik (19-21, 21-17, 15-12).

With a record of 1-1, they advanced to the round of 18 and defeated brothers Javier and Joaquín Bello, who represent Great Britain, in a 2-1 sets victory (21-18, 22-20).

In the round of 16, they won 2-1 (22-20, 19-21, 16-14) against renowned Brazilians Pedro Solberg and Gustavo Carvalhaes, advancing to the quarterfinals where they defeated Austrians Julian Hört and Alexander Horst 2-0 (21-14, 21-17).

**Saquarema Challenge – Final Results**

The next Challenge tournament of the season is set to take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from April 11-14.

Cuba and Canada win Silver in Recife Challenge Beach Pro Tour

RECIFE, Brazil, March 25, 2024.- Cuba’s Jorge Alayo and Noslen Díaz and Canada’s Heather Bansley and Sophie Bukovec earned a silver medal on Sunday at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Recife Challenge tournament in Brazil.

Brazilians Evandro Gonçalves and Arthur Lanci took full advantage of their first home event in Recife, with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) win over Alayo and Díaz in front of a packed center court.

Alayo and Díaz earned their way to the finals winning 2-0 over Argentina’s Capogrosso/Capogrosso in the Round of 16, 2-0 against Canada’s Schachter/Dearing in quarterfinals and 2-0 over Bello/Bello from England in semifinals.

While in the women’s field, Latvia’s Anastasija Samoilova and Tina Graudina won the gold-medal match 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) over the Canadians tandem.

Canada came up from the qualifying round to have an almost perfect tournament, including a 2-0 win in semifinals over Ittlinger/Borger of Germany.

Many of the teams competing in Brazil are earning important points towards Paris 2024 Olympic berths. In each gender, 17 spots will be obtained through the Olympic ranking until the June 9 deadline and high-level Beach Pro Tour events offer points towards that ranking.

The battle to qualify for this summer’s Olympics is set to have another chapter in Brazil as the country will host another Beach Pro Tour Challenge event next week, with teams heading south to Saquarema, where they will compete from Thursday to Sunday.

Canada takes silver in Doha

DOHA, Qatar, March 9, 2024.- Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson take home a silver medal from the first Elite 16 of the year at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour stop in Doha,  and Sara Hughes alongside Kelly Cheng of the United States take the bronze.

Melissa & Brandie knocked out two powerful Brazilian pairs on the way to the final but stopped short of beating a third one Bárbara Seixas and Carol Salgado in the gold medal showdown. Seventh-seeded Barbara & Carol showed a solid performance against the fourth-seeded Canadians and mastered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) shutout to lift the trophy in the Qatari capital.

“It was a hard-fought week of great competition. It feels great to be back on tour playing against the best,” said Humana-Paredes. “We had a tough pre-season preparing for this, so we’re happy to see the things we worked on in action. A big team effort! Would have loved a better showing in the finals but the positive is we have a lot of good to take back home and work on.”

Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson

The field in Doha, Qatar, was packed with top-ranking teams. Canada is currently ranked fourth in the world.

Canada defeated number-one ranked Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) & Ana Patricia Ramos of Brazil in the quarterfinals and then in the semis, Melissa/Brandie beat Anastasija Samoilova and Tina Graudina of Latvia 2-1 to advance.  

Hughes/Cheng of USA, reigning world champions who are already qualified for Paris 2024, won the bronze-medal match over Latvia’s Anastasija Samoilova & Tina Graudina on the way to a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) sweep. For the reigning world champions, the Doha bronze was the pair’s first ever on the Beach Pro Tour. They also have five golds and a silver on their record.

Sara Hughes alongside Kelly Cheng of the United States


Beach volleyball rankings: https://en.volleyballworld.com/beachvolleyball/world-ranking/women

VW Beach Pro Tour Doha Elite16: all results

2024 In Focus: The Third Season Of The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Beginning Soon!

The race for spots at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will highlight the first half of the year.

After two successful seasons in 2022 and 2023, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour is soon to get its third one underway. As in the previous editions, the three levels of the Beach Pro Tour will spread beach volleyball fever all over the world, with plenty of opportunities for top-calibre players and aspiring athletes alike to join in on the action and test themselves against their opponents.

Just like the full 2023 season, the first half of the 2024 season, until 10 June, will continue to offer valuable points towards the race for Olympic tickets to Paris 2024, and just like in 2021, a tournament in Ostrava, Czechia, this time an Elite16 event, will be the last one to count towards the Olympic rankings. At the end of this, the 17 teams per gender to qualify for the Olympic Games in France via the FIVB Olympic Rankings will be known. For information on the full qualification process for the Olympic Games beach volleyball competition, please click here.

The unique venue in Czechia’s third largest city also hosted the 4-star tournament in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 2021, which saw a dramatic turn of events in the fight for places at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner Brooke Sweat lost their qualification match to the then new and relatively unknown Dutch pairing of Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon. That allowed another up-and-coming team, Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Cheng (then Claes), to book a last-minute ticket to Tokyo 2020 as the second qualified American pair, instead of Walsh and Sweat. That sensational win over Walsh and Sweat also set the beginning of Stam and Schoon’s incredible story that also led them to the Games in Tokyo.

Katja Stam spikes above Kerri Walsh’s block at Ostrava 2021 4-star tournament

While the full 2024 Beach Pro Tour calendar is being adapted to optimise the number of events and their geographical distribution, it is already clear that there will be at least eight Elite16 and eight Challenger tournaments.

The Finals will be held in Doha, Qatar again from 5 to 8 December, 2024. Doha will also host an Elite16 event in early March, keeping alive the tradition of hosting two events per season, which started with a Challenge tournament and the Finals in 2022, and an Elite16 stop and the Finals in 2023.

Later in March, Brazil will welcome two Challenge events. The Beach Pro Tour will pay a first visit to Recife, its first world-level competition since 1996, and will then return to Saquarema, which hosted the Beach Pro Tour in 2023 as well.

Celebrations during the Saquarema Challenge 2023 award ceremony

April’s calendar includes two stops in Mexico and one in China – the Tour will visit Guadalajara for the first time for a Challenge stop before returning to Tepic for an Elite16 tournament, the second in the western Mexican town, after 2023. In late April, the Chinese city of Xiamen will host a Challenge tournament, its first Beach Pro Tour event, after hosting regular high-level World Tour stops from 2013 to 2019.

A European leg of one Challenge and five Elite16 tournaments will take place from late May till late August, before and after the Olympic Games in Paris. It will start in Portugal, with the Elite16 event from 22-26 May.

The Beach Pro Tour will then hold its first event, a Challenge tournament, in the iconic Polish village of Stare Jablonki, which hosted several World Tour Grand Slam and Open stops from 2004 to 2014, as well as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2013.

2013 world champion Xue Chen of China is likely to compete in Stare Jablonki again 10 years later

After Ostrava in June, the Beach Pro Tour will visit two more iconic European venues in July before the start of the Games in Paris. One is Gstaad in Switzerland, which has been a regular host of world-level events since 2000, including the 2007 World Championships. The other host city is Vienna in neighbouring Austria, which set the stage for the 2017 World Championships, 5-star tournaments in 2018 and 2019, and the CEV European Championships in 2021 and 2023.

After Paris 2024, the Beach Pro Tour will stay in Europe for one more Elite16 stop in Hamburg, a hub of beach volleyball in Germany. The city hosted the European Championships back in 2008, one of the Majors on the FIVB World Tour in 2016, the World Tour Finals in both 2017 and 2018, the World Championships in 2019 and two Elite16 events in 2022 and 2023 (pictured in the main photo).

The last Elite16 stop of the year is set to be at the end of August in Montreal, Canada. The Canadian city organised numerous World Tour Open events during the first decade of the century and returned to the world beach volleyball stage with its first Elite16 tournament in 2023.

Packed stands in Montreal during the Elite16 tournament in 2023

In October, the Beach Pro Tour will once again visit Brazil for a Challenge stop in Joao Pessoa, which hosted the last Elite16 tournament in 2023.

Finally, in late November and early December, before the Finals in Doha, Challenge tournaments will take place in India, and in the Philippines, which will host its second high-level event again in Nuvali, where the last Challenge stop of 2023 also took place.

Beach Pro Tour 2024 – official website

2024 Beach Pro Tour Calendar
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