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    Meet the Class of 2014

    Read the full Class of 2014 Press Release Here

    Joop Alberda (Netherlands) - INDOOR VOLLEYBALL COACH

    Joop Alberda was appointed head coach of the Netherlands Men's National Team in 1994 and soon became a legendary figure within the program. He guided Netherlands to the gold medal at 1996 FIVB World League, and that success continued on into the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games as the Dutch won their first-ever Olympic Games gold medal. He was proclaimed the Best Volleyball Coach in the world after the two gold-medal performances, and the Dutch chose the 1996 Olympic performance the top sports moment of the 20th century. Alberda served as the technical director for the Dutch Olympic Committee from 1997 to 2004, and that led to a record 25 Dutch medals at the 2000 Olympic Games. He later served as the technical director for the Dutch Volleyball Federation from 2006 to 2010.

    Nalbert Bitencourt (Brazil) - MALE INDOOR VOLLEYBALL PLAYER

    Nalbert Bitencourt was a multi-dimensional player equally skilled as a passer and attacker on Brazil's dominating teams of the early 2000s. He was part of Brazil's Triple Crown of gold medals in winning the 2002 FIVB World Championship, the 2003 FIVB World Cup and the 2004 Olympic Games. During the Triple Crown run, Bitencourt helped Brazil capture the 2001 and 2003 FIVB World League titles to go with the 2002 World League silver medal and 2007 World League gold medal. He was selected as Brazil's Sportsman of the Year in 2002. Bitencourt played professionally in three countries - Brazil (1992-1999, 2004-), Italy (1999-2002, 2002-2004), Japan (2001-2002).

    Tara Cross-Battle (United States) - FEMALE INDOOR VOLLEYBALL PLAYER

    Tara Cross-Battle became the United States' first four-time Olympic Games volleyball player having competed in the Games in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. In her debut Olympics, she helped the United States to the bronze medal in Barcelona. Cross-Battle competed in three FIVB World Championships (1990, 1994, 2002), winning the bronze medal in 1990 and the silver medal in 2002. She was instrumental in the United States winning gold medals in the 1995 and 2001 FIVB World Grand Prix, along with bronze medals in the 2003 FIVB World Cup and World Grand Prix. In 2001, Cross-Battle led the U.S. to the NORCECA Continental Championship and was named most valuable player in the tournament.

    Miloslav Ejem(Czech Republic) - LEADER

    Miloslav Ejem of the Czech Republic has been a leader within the FIVB for over 30 decades and passed on his technical knowledge to countless up-and-coming coaches. He served on the FIVB Coaches Commission for nearly 30 years with stints as both the commission president and secretary. Ejem was a member of the FIVB Technical Commission from 1994 to 2002. He held a spot on the FIVB Board of Administration from 1998 to 2002. Ejem shared or independently authored approximately 30 books, including the FIVB Coaches Manual, and over 100 volleyball technical articles. He served on the Czech Volleyball Federation Administrative Board from 1969 to 1982.


    Sandra Pires helped usher in beach volleyball at the Olympic Games and was a dominant force on the sand for many years. She and Jackie Silva won the inaugural Olympic Games beach volleyball gold medal in 1996. Four years later Pires teamed with Adriana Samuel to win the silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games. She and Silva won the 1997 FIVB World Championship held in Los Angeles. Pires later teamed with Tatiana Minello to earn the bronze medal at the 2001 FIVB World Championship. Pires was a three-time FIVB Tour Champion in 1995, 1996 and 2003, won 20 FIVB titles and reached the medal podium in 110 FIVB events.


    Roza Salikhova was a nominated attacker for the USSR in the late 1960s and through most of the 1970s. She earned gold medals at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games as the USSR was in a class of its own during that period. In between the two gold medals, Salikhova helped the USSR to the 1970 FIVB World Championship gold medal and later captured the silver medal at the 1974 FIVB World Championship. Her medal collection also includes gold medals at the 1967 and 1971 European Championships. During her career she won six USSR championships playing for two different clubs. Salikhova was presented the USSR Honorable Master of Sport in 1968 and was later honored with the Order "Sign of Honor."

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