Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Strong Finish Earns Jake Gibb 2019 Honor

Most professional beach volleyball players eagerly anticipate a well-deserved break after a strenuous season. However, for Jake Gibb, winning the FIVB four-star event in Chetumal, Mexico with his partner Taylor Crabb on Nov. 17 wasn’t enough. This victory marked the team’s first gold on the FIVB World Tour and Gibb’s seventh as an individual since his international debut in 2005.

Gibb attributes their success to their year-long dedication, hard work, and exceptional performance on the volleyball court. “We were trending towards a big win,” Gibb said. “If I could play in 10 more tournaments right now, I would.”

In addition to their triumph in Chetumal, Gibb and Crabb claimed first place at the NORCECA Tour finals in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, and finished fourth at the FIVB World Tour Finals in Rome. They also secured victories at AVP Tour events in Chicago and Hawaii.

As the top-ranked U.S. men’s team in the FIVB world rankings, Gibb and Crabb not only dominated the national scene but also made significant strides towards qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This would be Gibb’s fourth Olympic appearance and Crabb’s first.

Gibb expressed his admiration for his partner, stating, “The best thing I can say about Taylor is he makes volleyball easy for me. He’s a great passer and setter, and his court coverage on defense is among the best in the world.”

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However, Gibb and Crabb face stiff competition from other U.S. teams, such as Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb and Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, for the remaining two Olympic slots. The ultimate qualifying event will be the 2020 Rome five-star tournament from June 10-14.

Reflecting on the 2019 season, Gibb acknowledged the challenges they encountered, including ninth-place finishes in three consecutive FIVB tournaments and lower rankings in other events. However, their perseverance paid off as they tied for ninth in Vienna, took fourth place in Moscow, and finished strong in Rome.

Gibb credits their coach, Rich Lambourne, an Olympic gold medalist, and Tyler Hildebrand, USA Volleyball Director of Coaching, for their support and guidance during tournaments and training. The collaboration between Rich and Tyler, including scouting reports, has been instrumental in their achievements.

Despite the highs and lows, the most crucial factor contributing to Gibb’s continued success is his enduring love for the sport. “I wish it would stop being fun, and I could retire,” Gibb chuckled. “I love it. It’s an addictive high that I am going to have a tough time letting go of.”

FAQs

Q: What was Jake Gibb’s biggest win in the FIVB World Tour?
A: Jake Gibb’s biggest win in the FIVB World Tour was the four-star event in Chetumal, Mexico, where he and his partner Taylor Crabb secured their first gold medal.

Q: How many gold medals has Jake Gibb won as an individual in international play?
A: Jake Gibb has won seven gold medals as an individual since his debut in international play in 2005.

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Q: Who is Jake Gibb’s partner in beach volleyball?
A: Jake Gibb’s partner in beach volleyball is Taylor Crabb.

Summary

In 2019, Jake Gibb and his partner Taylor Crabb had a remarkable season in beach volleyball. They secured their first gold medal on the FIVB World Tour, and Gibb won his seventh individual gold medal since his international debut. With a string of victories and solid performances, they finished as the top-ranked U.S. men’s team in the FIVB world rankings and are striving to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Gibb attributes their success to their hard work, the support of their coach and USA Volleyball Director of Coaching, and their undeniable passion for the sport.