Lausanne, Switzerland, September 5, 2017 - Laura Ludwig became only the fifth player to win back-to-back awards as the Most Outstanding Player on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour as the German was honoured for the second-straight season as the top female performer on the 2017 international beach volleyball circuit.Quick links - Beach volleyball:
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The 31-year old Ludwig joined Americans Phil Dalhausser (2013 and 2014) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (2012, 2013 and 2014), and Brazilians Juliana Felisberta (2009, 2010 and 2011) and Bruno Oscar Schmidt (2015 and 2016) as the only players to win consecutive Most Outstanding Player honours since the award was initiated in 2005.
In addition to being named the top female performer for the recently-completed FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started in February in the United States and ended last month in Germany at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone, Ludwig was also named the Best Defensive Player, Sportswomen of the Year and Most Inspirational in the voting by players, coaches, referees and FIVB officials.Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig possibly sports photo of the month?
Ludwig, who was hampered early in the 2017 campaign due to off-season right shoulder surgery, won the Sportswoman of the Year for the third-straight season. She was previously named the Best Offensive Player in 2011, the Best Defensive Player and Most Inspirational in 2013.
With her four awards this season to bring her career total to 11 post-season honours, Ludwig joins Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings (26) and Misty May-Treanor (13), and Brazilian Larissa Franca (20) in winning more than 10 women’s accolades since the start of post-season honours in 2015.Walkenhorst was named Best Hitter
Kira Walkenhorst, who teamed with Ludwig to win the gold medals last month at both the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Vienna 2017 presented by A1 and the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone in Hamburg, was named the FIVB World Tour’s Best Hitter for the 2017 season. It was Walkenhorst’s fourth post-season award as she was named the Most Improved and Top Rookie in 2013, and the Best Blocker in 2016.Larissa was named Best Setter
Larissa was named the FIVB World Tour’s Best Setter for the 10th-time (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017) and Best Offensive Player for the third-straight season (2015, 2016 and 2017). April Ross of the United States was honoured as the Best Server for the fifth-time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017) and Canadian Sarah Pavan was voted as the Top Blocker for the second-time (2015 and 2017).Humana-Paredes was named Most Improved Player
Other women’s award winners were Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada who was named the FIVB World Tour’s Most Improved Players for 2017 while the American collegiate champion Sara Hughes was honoured as the Rookie of the Year. Humana-Paredes, who teamed with Pavan to win Canada’s first Majors gold medal at July’s stop in Croatia, was the 2014 FIVB Rookie of the Year.
Larissa and Talita Antunes won the 2017 women’s point’s title while Ludwig and Walkenhorst won their second-straight Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals championship. The German pair finished second to Talita and Larissa at the inaugural Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals event in 2015 in the United States at Fort Lauderdale before topping the 2016 podium in Toronto, Canada.