Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Gibb’s Career Ends at World Tour Finals

After a remarkable 21 professional seasons and participation in four Olympic Games, the illustrious career of U.S. Beach National Team member Jake Gibb has officially come to an end on the international stage.

Gibb, known for his passion and dedication to the sport, expressed his love for volleyball in a post-match interview after a closely contested 2-1 loss to Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo. While leaving the sport is difficult for him, he is grateful for the opportunity to return home to his family and spend quality time with his children. Despite the bittersweet moment, Gibb remains content and appreciative of the sport and the incredible journey it has taken him on.

The loss to Nicolai and Lupo marked Gibb and his partner Taylor Crabb’s second defeat of the day and concluded their pool play at the FIVB World Tour Finals in Cagliari, Italy. With a 1-3 record and five points, they find themselves in a three-way tie for second place in Pool A. However, their advancement to the playoff round is uncertain as the two teams they are tied with are guaranteed at least one point in the upcoming final round of pool play. Gibb and Crabb have a bye in that round and will not participate in any further matches.

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To secure a spot in the playoff round, the top three teams from each World Tour Finals pool will advance. Unfortunately, Gibb and Crabb can finish no higher than fourth in their pool.

At the age of 45, Gibb leaves behind an impressive legacy in international volleyball. As a four-time Olympian, he has participated in every Olympic Games since 2008. Additionally, he has won seven FIVB tournaments and earned 25 international medals. Gibb and Crabb have been a formidable team since 2017, achieving victory at the 2019 Chetumal Four-star event and securing bronze at this year’s Doha Four-star tournament.

A Team Wins Twice to Stay in Contention

In contrast to Gibb and Crabb’s results, the duo of Alix Klineman and April Ross had a successful day at the World Tour Finals. They secured two straight-set victories to keep their playoff hopes alive. The first victory came against Italy’s Valentina Gottardi and Marta Menegatti, with a score of 21-17, 22-20. They followed that up with another impressive win against Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart of Switzerland, with a score of 21-18, 21-17.

With a record of 2-2 and six points, Klineman and Ross are currently tied for first place in Pool A standings. However, they will not accumulate any additional points as they have a bye in the final round of pool play, just like Gibb and Crabb. Their fate will likely be determined by the outcome of the match between Gottardi/Menegatti and Julia Sude/Karla Borger of Germany. If Italy emerges victorious, Klineman and Ross will finish no lower than third place and secure their spot in the playoffs. On the opposing outcome, if Germany wins, Klineman and Ross, along with Sude and Borger, will be tied for third place, and the team with the higher point ratio will advance.

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Huberli and Betschart can also finish with six points if they lose their final pool match, resulting in a three-way tie for second place. In this scenario, the tiebreaker will be determined by point ratio, in which Klineman and Ross currently hold the advantage with a ratio of 1.0389.

Team Slaes Remains Undefeated

Team Slaes, consisting of Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, continues to dominate their competition with a flawless record. They secured a convincing 2-0 victory over Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink from the Netherlands, with a score of 21-16, 21-16. Currently tied for first place in Pool B standings with four points, Team Slaes holds the highest point ratio in their pool, standing at an impressive 1.2436.

While their advancement to the playoffs is not yet guaranteed, Team Slaes can secure their spot by winning one of their two remaining pool play matches. On the schedule, they will face Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Santos Lisboa at 2 a.m. Pacific and Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes at 11 a.m. Pacific. It is also possible for Claes and Sponcil to advance with two losses, but they would need to maintain a higher point ratio than the teams they tie with and finish among the top three in the pool.


  1. What is Jake Gibb’s career in international volleyball?

    • Jake Gibb enjoyed a remarkable career, participating in four Olympic Games and winning seven FIVB tournaments, along with 25 international medals.
  2. What are the chances of Alix Klineman and April Ross advancing to the playoffs?

    • Alix Klineman and April Ross have a strong chance of advancing to the playoffs, depending on the outcome of the match between Valentina Gottardi/Marta Menegatti and Julia Sude/Karla Borger. If Italy wins, Klineman and Ross will secure at least a third-place finish.
  3. How has Team Slaes performed in the World Tour Finals?

    • Team Slaes, comprising Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, remains undefeated with a perfect record. They are tied for first place in their pool and have the highest point ratio.
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As the FIVB World Tour Finals continue to showcase thrilling matches and determine the top contenders, fans bid farewell to the incredible career of Jake Gibb. Meanwhile, teams like Alix Klineman/April Ross and Team Slaes continue to battle for a spot in the playoffs, displaying exceptional skill and determination on the sand. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the world of beach volleyball.

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