Relive the Season-Closing World Tour Finals Start-to-Finish

  0 Braden Keith | September 18th, 2016 | Beach, News, Pro, Pro Beach, Video


It was a tale of two titles at the 2016 FIVB World Tour Finals on Polson Pier in Toronto, Canada over the last week. Alison/Bruno Schmidt and Ludwig/Walkenhorst both entered the season-closing tournament as Olympic champions, but only one looked that way through pool play.

While the Brazilian men swept their way through the tournament, winning all 10 sets they played on the week; the Germans started off very slow and had to play through the round of 16 after losing their first two matches.

Men’s Final day Highlights

But, both pairs wound up in the same spot – at the top of the final podium with gold medals around their necks, and $100,000 bonus checks in hand, as part of $500,000 in prizes awarded to the 24 participating teams.

Other Storylines

  • Americans Tri Bourne, the least-experienced player in the tournament, and John Hyden, the oldest player in the tournament, who missed the U.S. Olympic Team, fought through the setbacks to win the bronze medal.
  • While Switzerland’s Nadine Zumkehr called it a career after this match, the Swiss had their most successful run perhaps in history at this tournament, with both of their women’s teams qualifying for the semi-finals. They ultimately wound up with 2 on the podium: Zumkehr/Heidrich with silver and Forrer/Verge-Depre with bronze.
  • The Brazilian men were even more dominant, with an all-Brazil final for the men’s bracket. As much of the world learned during the Olympics, “Soccer is religion, but volleyball is the national sport” in Brazil.
  • Olympic bronze medalists Brouwer/Meeuwsen went o-3 in the tournament and lost out in the round of 16, but they did have a fun time taking on Kacie MacTavish’s challenges.
  • Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton may not have been on the final podium, but they did play all the way through to the bronze medal match, keeping the home country engaged throughout the week.
  • But the Brazilian fans still showed up with force and volume.
  • Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson won the play-in match with Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes after Wilkerson and Pavan’s post-Olympic split. While there’s time to shift and mix-and-match in the off-season ahead, Wilkerson and Bansley looked like a solid fit in early returns.
  • The two Polish men’s pairs Lodiak/Kantor and Fijalek/Prudel both played very well, with much better performances than their tied-for-17th finishes at the Olympics. Both pairs wound up losing in the quarterfinals, but for Fijalek and Prudel that was to the eventual champions; and for Losiak and Kantor it was in a three-setter to the Canadians.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of 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 as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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