Lausanne, Switzerland, January 8, 2020 – Jake Gibb has enjoyed a successful start to 2020 by being named the 2019 USA Volleyball Male Beach Player of the Year.
It is the fourth time that the 43-year-old Gibb has won the award after he triumphed in 2012, 2013 and 2018.
Gibb has been in tandem with Taylor Crabb since the start of 2017 and the pair celebrated their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold together when they were victorious at the 4-Star Chetumal tournament in November.
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It was their first appearance on a World Tour podium having twice lost bronze medal matches.
“I attribute the victory to a year of really hard work and playing really good volleyball,” Gibb said. “We were trending that way (toward a big win)… If I could play in 10 more tournaments right now, I would.
“We were playing well, but not getting the finishes. That was frustrating. That was a really tough part of the year.”
Gibb and Crabb also won gold at the NORCECA Tour Finals in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic and are eighth in the FIVB Olympic Rankings.
A maximum of two teams per National Olympic Committee (NOC) are permitted at an Olympic Games and as the highest ranked US team they are on course for a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Qualifying runs through to the end of the Rome 5-Star tournament that finishes on June 14.
If they do qualify, Tokyo 2020 will be Gibb’s fourth Olympic appearance. He played alongside Sean Rosenthal at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and Rio de Janeiro 2016 with Casey Patterson.
For Crabb Tokyo 2020 would be his Olympic debut.
“The best thing I can say about Taylor is he makes volleyball easy for me,” Gibb said. “He’s a great passer and setter and his court coverage on defence is among the best in the world.
“I feel confident we are going to keep battling. There are three really good teams fighting for two spots. I think it’s going to be a dogfight. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came down to Rome.”