With 6 months of Olympic qualifying left let’s examine the top four international men’s teams. For reference the current Olympic ranking is as follows:
Image from: https://www.fivb.com/en/beachvolleyball
Anders Mol and Christian Sorum
The current Olympic ranking is led by superstars Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum. These youngsters (Mol is 22 years old and Sorum is 24 years old) are the team to beat. Mols/Sorum won 50% (7 of the 14 FIVB) events they played together in the 2019.
In the highest pressure, biggest events, Mols/Sorum finished first twice (Gstaad and Vienna) and third twice (World Championships and World Tour Finals).
Photo From: https://volleyballmag.com/mol-sorum-10-26-18/
Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy
Russians Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy are second on the list. This team is also young; Oleg 23 is years old and Viacheslav is 28 years old. They won 30% (4 of 13) of the events they entered. Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy seem to be the best team in the highest pressure moments. They won BOTH of the biggest events of the year, the World Championships (Hamburg) and The World Tour Finals (Rome) . In the other 5-star events, however, they faltered, finishing 5th (Vienna) and 17th (Gstaad).
Alvaro Filho and Alison Cerutti
Third on the list are Brazilians Alvaro Filho (29 YO) and Alison Cerutti (34 YO). Alison and Avaro won 2 of 15 FIVB events entered, winning the Kuala Lumpur 3-star and the Espinho 4-Star. In the 5-star equivalent events in 2019 Alison and Avaro only broke through the quarter finals once, in Vienna, where they finished 2nd, losing to Mols/Sorum in the finals. In Rome they finished 17th, and they finished 9th in Gstaad and Hamburg.
Photo from: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/cerutti
Evandro Gonçalves and Bruno Oscar Schmidt
In fourth place are Brazlians Evandro Gonçalves (29 YO) and Bruno Oscar Schmidt (33 YO). Evandro and Bruno won 1 event in 15 attempts in 2019, winning the Warsaw 4-star. In 5-Star equivalent events, Evandro and Bruno team made it to the semi-finals once. In Gstaad, they lost to Mol/Sorum in the semi-finals, ultimately finishing 3rd. Their other big event finishes were lackluster. They finished 5th in Rome, 9th in Vienna and 17th in Hamburg.
So how have the top four USA teams done against the top 4 International teams ?
In summary, not good. In 2019, the top USA four teams (Phil/Nick, Taylor/Jake, Tri/Trevor, Billy/Stafford) had 2 wins and 20 losses against the current top 4 teams. For wins, Tri and Trevor beat Alison and Avaro in Jinjiang in the round of 16, and, Billy Allen and Stafford Slick beat Evandro and Bruno in Hamburg in the round of 32.
2019 FIVB USA Men Versus Top 4 International results are below:
Bruno Oscar Schmidt
This Olympic race likely will be the last one for Phil, Nick, Jake and Billy. All are over the age of 38 years old. So let’s hope the tides turn.
FIVB events will start up again in February, however, the first 4 Star won’t be until March, the Doha event. The upcoming 3/4/5 Star schedule is as follows:
See you on the hard court or indoor beach,