April Ross, Phil Dalhausser Named AVP Tour MVPs

  1 Braden Keith | December 01st, 2016 | Beach, News, Pro, Pro Beach

April Ross and Phil Dalhausser have been named the women’s and men’s MVPs, respectively, of the 2016 AVP Beach Volleyball Tour, the organization announced this week. The awards were voted upon by the athletes who played on the tour.

Both players represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Ross and her partner Kerri Walsh-Jennings took a bronze medal in Rio.

Ross and Walsh-Jennings finished 4th as a pair in overall AVP points – behind overall leaders Lane Carico and Summer Ross – April’s sister.

April Ross and Walsh-Jennings played just 3 tour stops as a pair, but they won each of them for $22,500 in prize money. At the tour’s final stop, in Chicago, Walsh-Jennings boycotted the competition over experimental rules being used, saying that athletes should have been consulted. Ross would play that tournament instead with Kelly Reeves, and the two wound up going 2-2 in their 4 games for a 7th-place overall finish.

The two would reunite for the FIVB World Tour Finals shortly thereafter, but announced that they would split for the 2017 season. Ross is attempting to conceive a child with her husband – something Walsh-Jennings put her career on hold for 3 times in 2009, 2010, and 2013. If she’s unable to get pregnant before the start of the 2017 season, she says she’ll play and try again next winter – although it’s not clear that in that event, the 2017 season would be played with Walsh-Jennings.

Dalhausser and his partner Nick Lucena weren’t the tour points leaders, but they did win 2 of the 4 AVP tournaments they entered on the season (out of 8 tournaments on offer). That included the season-ending AVP Tour Championships in Chicago where they picked off Tri Bourne and John Hyden 2-0 (21-13, 21-7). In total, Dalhauser earned $23,000 for his 4 weekends of AVP work, and his 2 tour victories marked the most he’d won on any domestic tour since 2010 – where he won 5 of 6 tournaments played with then-partner Todd Rogers.

Other Awards

  • Taylor Crabb, who along with his brother Trevor Crabb scored the most points on the AVP tour this season, was named the 2016 AVP Most Improved Player for men.
  • Geena Urango, who had 74 aces on the season en route to two 2nd-place and two 3rd-place finishes, was named the AVP Most Improved Player for women.
  • Dalhausser led the AVP Tour with 2.41 blocks per set, and was named the Best Blocker for men.
  • Lauren Fendrick was named Best Blocker for women with 51 blocks on the season.
  • Crabb earned Best Defender for men after a 480-dig season.
  • Brooke Sweat, who with Fendrick won the AVP Championship tournament in Chicago, was named Best Defender for women. She led the AVP tour with 7.84 digs this season.
  • Jeremy Casebeer had 48 aces in 7 tournaments to be named the Best Server for men.
  • Ross, who was already named the Best Server for women in the world by FIVB, earned the same honor on the AVP Tour. She had 52 aces in 4 tournaments played.
  • Todd Rogers was given the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Rogers, who won the 2008 Olympic gold medal with Dalhausser as part of one of the most dominant pairings in the history of the sport, played his final professional games in the AVP Tour tournament in Manhattan Beach in July. He leaves the game with 54 career AVP victories, which ranks him 8th all-time, and over $1.1 million in career earnings on the AVP Tour alone.

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I would always vote for Walsh, but she is like Michael Jordan or Phelps.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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