- What: The 2022 Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) season
- Who: The frontrunners to take home the women’s MVP award in 2022
- Where: Various cities and venues across North America
- When: The spring and summer months of 2022
As the biggest and longest-running professional beach volleyball tour in the United States, the 2022 AVP season will kick off later this year. After a hiatus in 2020 and 2021, the tour should be prepped and ready for a comeback performance this year. For this spotlight article, the MTS squad will break down who the favorites are to win the women’s MVP award for the season.
In a category that has normally been dominated by April Ross (she has won the award each season since 2013, so seven total), will there be a new champion? Check out the breakdown below to find out.
|Odds to Win 2022 AVP Female MVP Award|
The Number One Contender: April Ross (Odds: TBA)
Recognized as one of the most dominant competitors in her sport, Ross is seeking her eighth consecutive MVP award in 2022. One of the most accomplished athletes, not only on the AVP but internationally, Ross is coming off a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics with Alix Klineman. In August of 2021, the duo also won the AVP Manhattan Beach Open, their second time winning the event together. The former top female collegiate volleyball player in America, Ross is in the driver’s seat to win eighth MVP award.
Number Two: Alix Klineman (Odds: TBA)
Ross’ partner in crime since 2017, Klineman is a former AVP Rookie of the Year (2017) and one of the most decorated athletes in women’s volleyball. With her gold medal victory in Tokyo, the 32-year old will be looking to make history in 2022 with an AVP MVP honor as well. Over the past couple of seasons, Klineman was honored with the 2018 and 2019 AVP Best Blocker award thanks to her dominating 6’5” frame. While it is going to be hard to knock off her teammate, Klineman does have youth on her side, she is younger than Ross by almost seven years.
Number three: Melissa Humana-Paredes (Odds: TBA)
Playing as a left-side defender, Humana-Paredes is coming off a gold medal at the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships with Sarah Pavan. One of the most successful players on the FIVB BVB World Tour, Pavan was able to lock down two gold medals in 2019 at Vienna and Edmonton. While Humana-Paredes and her partner Pavan were unsuccessful in advancing to the medal rounds of the 2020 Summer Olympics, she still is one of the best rising stars in the sport. In regards to AVP Pro BVB Tour, the Canadian was able to lock down a gold medal at the 2019 Hawaii event and was recognized as the 2019 AVP Defensive Player of the Year.
Final contender: Sara Hughes (Odds: TBA)
Our final contender spotlight, Hughes is another USC Trojan who could make some noise in 2022 if she takes the next step in her pro career. The youngest athlete on this list at the age of 26, Hughes has already won three tournaments on the AVP Pro Tour, as well as one gold and two bronze medals on the FIVB World Tour. Prior to that, Hughes led USC to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2016 and 2017. The Long Beach, Calif. Native, Hughes is the youngest athlete to win an AVP event when they won the season-ending championship in 2017. She has work cut out for her to unseat some of the other veterans on this list.
Prediction: This could turn out to be a two-person race between Ross and Klineman. While the pair are teammates and perhaps the best volleyball tandem in the world, the margin for getting more MVP votes will be very thin. That’s why youth will prevail in this scenario as Klineman will take home her first-ever MVP in 2022.
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