Beach Pro Tour - News

Crabb Tr./Brunner (USA) vs. Herrera/Gavira (ESP) - Quarterfinals #5845998

Trevor Crabb & Theodore Brunner’s success at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Espinho last week propelled them 20 spots up the men’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Ranking and they are now in number 26, the highest they have ever been since they teamed up before the start of the ongoing season.

The Espinho gold, which was their first on the Beach Pro Tour as a pair, brought the Americans 800 points towards a new total of 3,820 points and that made them the second highest placed US duo, after 10th-ranked Miles Partain & Andrew Benesh. Most importantly, with all their points coming from qualifying events for Paris 2024, Crabb & Brunner are now the best-placed American duo in the men’s provisional Olympic ranking, surpassing previous leaders Chaim Schalk & Tri Bourne. Traditionally, the United States qualifies two teams per gender to the Olympics and it is more of an internal race who these two pairs would be...

While Espinho silver medallists Julian Horl & Alexander Horst of Austria and bronze medallists Evandro Oliveira & Arthur Mariano did not move in the ranking, staying 19th and 20th, respectively, for the recently formed Polish duo of Piotr Kantor & Jakub Zdybek the fourth place in Portugal also meant a huge leap of 65 positions up the chart. Having played only three tournaments so far (two Challenge events on the Beach Pro Tour and a CEV Beach Volley Nations Cup qualifier), Kantor & Zdybek are already on the verge of entering the top 100, just a spot below, at position 101.

Kantor/Zdybek (POL) vs. Stankevicius/Knasas (LTU) - Quarterfinals #5846087

Kantor & Zdybek celebrate their quarterfinal victory in Espinho

Among the four teams that finished with a fifth-place result in Espinho, USA’s Schalk & Bourne made the highest upward move of 13 spots to number 30, followed by Lithuania’s Patrikas Stankevicius & Audrius Knasas, who climbed 11 positions to number 39, and Spanish veterans Pablo Herrera & Adrian Gavira, who rose from number 12 to number 11. Unlike them, Ukraine’s Sergiy Popov & Eduard Reznik made a downward shift from 36th to 37th.

Monday’s latest update of the World Ranking was, in fact, affected not only by the addition of the new Espinho points, but also by the expiration of the 2022 Espinho Challenge points as that event occurred exactly a year earlier. So, since Popov & Reznik, for example, finished fifth at both events, their total points remained unchanged.

This also prompted an interesting change in the top three of the women’s World Ranking. Even without competing on the Portuguese coast last week, USA’s Taryn Kloth & Kristen Nuss overtook Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy & Mariafe Artacho Del Solar of Australia into the number three spot. The reason – the Aussies’ 800 points from their Espinho gold in 2022 expired.

For a similar reason, USA’s Emily Stockman & Megan Kraft, who finished fifth last week, overtook Brazil’s Andressa Cavalcanti & Vitoria Rodrigues, who finished second, in the World Ranking. The Americans net-gained 140 of the 600 points they earned, while the Brazilians pocketed only 40 of the 760 that came with their silver, because they also made the podium in 2022 with bronze. So Stockman & Kraft climbed from 15th to 13th to push Andressa & Vitoria down from 14th to 15th.

Gold medallists Barbara Seixas & Carol Solberg also netted only 40 points, but for another reason: the Brazilians had to drop their ninth highest point result from their total and that was the 760 points they had from finishing second at the Itapema Challenge in April. So the former world’s number one team remained in their current fifth position.

However, the third Brazilian duo on the women’s podium, the recently formed partnership of Agatha Bednarczuk & Rebecca Cavalcanti, added the entire 720 points that came with their Espinho bronze towards a new total of 1,780 and rocketed 55 positions up the ranking. So, having played at only three Beach Pro Tour events so far, Agatha & Rebecca are now number 79 in the world.

China’s Xue Chen & Xia Xinyi, who finished fourth in Espinho, ascended from number 30 to number 23. Two of the other three teams with fifth-place finishes also improved in the ranking, by four spots each: Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska & Aleksandra Wachowicz to number 24 and Spain’s Daniela Alvarez & Tania Moreno to number 27, while France’s Lezana Placette & Alexia Richard stayed put in number 21.