German star Laura Ludwig joined elite company when she was named as Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 FIVB Beach World Tour. Ludwig became one of just five players ever to repeat as Most Outstanding Player.
The German joins a pair of Americans and a pair of Brazilians in achieving the back-to-back Most Outstanding Player feat since the award’s inception in 2005: Phil Dalhausser (2013, 2014), Kerri Walsh Jennings (2012, 2013, 2014), Juliana Felisberta (2009, 2010, 2011) and Bruno Oscar Schmidt (2015, 2016).
Since winning the Olympic gold last August, Ludwig and partner Kira Walkenhorst have captured the FIVB Beach World Championships and the Swatch Beach FIVB World Tour Finals titles among others despite Ludwig’s offseason shoulder surgery.
In addition to the Most Outstanding Player award, Ludwig also received the FIVB’s Best Defensive Player, Sportswoman of the Year and Most Inspirational honors, which are voted on by the league’s players, coaches, referees and FIVB officials.
Her 2017 accolades push Ludwig’s career postseason honor total to 11.
Walkenhorst was not left out of the awards haul, as the 26-year old earned Best Hitter honors. It marked the fourth career honor for Walkenhorst, who previously was named Most Improved and Top Rookie in 2013 and Best Blocker in 2016.
Rounding out the 2017 honorees were:
Best Offensive Player – Larissa Franca (Brazil)
Best Setter – Larissa Franca (Brazil)
Best Server – April Ross (USA)
Best Blocker – Sarah Pavan (Canada)
Most Improved – Melissa Humana-Paredes (Canada)
Rookie of the Year – Sara Hughes (USA)
2017 Women’s Points Title – Larissa Franca and Talita Altunes (Brazil)
The best offensive player award is the third straight for Larissa, while the setting honor was the 10th of her career, following seven straight awards 2006-12 and the 2014 and 2016 accolades.
Humana-Paredes earned the second honor of her career with the Most Improved accolade, following a 2014 FIVB Rookie of the Year nod.