There appears to be no stopping the Viking Express.
The FIVB World Tour Finals champions from 2018, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, won yet another big World Tour tournament, this time the first-ever 4-star in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From being essentially unknown early in 2018, the pair won the Gstaad Major (SUI) last July, then the Vienna Major (AUT) in August and then the World Tour Finals later that month. They’re ranked no. 1 in the world and defeated Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl in straight sets.
“What’s happening with us still seems unreal,” Sorum noted. “These last few months have been crazy and it’s great to end the year on a high. Now we have three weeks off and after that we head to Tenerife to start preparing for 2019. It’s an important season and we want to keep up the good results.”
The women’s final was an all-Canadian showcase, with Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson claiming their first win since the Poland Open last July with a 21-17, 17-21, 15-9 win over Commonwealth Games champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana -Paredes.
It’s the third title in the last four months for Bansley and Wilkerson, to go along with the Poland Open, but also the first p1440 event, played in San Jose, California at the end of September.
It was the first-ever all-Canadian final in an FIVB World Tour event. “It’s really great for our program,” Bansley. “We want to qualify two Canadian teams for the Olympics and this is part of it, so to see the two of us in the finals against each other means a lot.” Summaries:
FIVB World Tour/Las Vegas Open
Las Vegas, Nevada (USA ) 17-21 October 2018
(Full results here)
Men: 1. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (NOR); 2. Grzegorz Fijalek/Michal Bryl (POL); 3. Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy (RUS); 4. Trevor Crabb/Tri Bourne (USA). Semis: Fijalek/Bryl d. Krasilnikov/Stoyanovsky, 2-1; Mol/Sorum d. Crabb/Bourne, 2-0. Third: Krasilnikov/ Stoyanovsky d. Crabb/Bourne, 2-1. Final: Mol/Sorum d. Fijalek/Bryl, 2-0 (21-13, 21-17).
Women: 1. Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson (CAN); 2. Saran Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes; 3. Maria Antonelli/Carol Solberg Salgado (BRA); 4. Ana Patricia Silva Ramos/Rebecca Cavalcanti (BRA). Semis: Pavan/Humana-Paredes d. Ana Patricia/Rebecca, 2-0; Bansley/Wilkerson d. Maria Antonelli/Carol, 2-1. Third: Maria Antonelli/Carol d. Ana Patricia/Rebecca, walkover due to injury. Final: Bansley/Wilkerson d. Pavan/Humana-Paredes, 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-9).