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News & Events

May 6, 2010
For Immediate Release

David Casey, Volleyball Hall of Fame President (E-Mail: info@volleyhall.org or craycasey@aol.com, Phone: 536-0926)

Volleyball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2010 Inductees

HOLYOKE, Mass. (May 8, 2010) - The Volleyball Hall of Fame announced today the names of six volleyball greats who will be inducted as the Class of 2010 into its hallowed halls on Oct. 22 in Holyoke, Mass., the sport's birthplace.

The newest induction class consists of the beach team of Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar of Brazil, indoor female coach Gabriella Kotsis of Hungary, indoor female player Gabriela Perez del Solar of Peru, indoor male player Aleksandr Savin of Russia and the late indoor coach Hubert Wagner of Poland. The induction class is elected via a vote of current Volleyball Hall of Fame inductees.

"The five individuals and one beach team selected for the 2010 Volleyball Hall of Fame are remarkable individuals who have brought distinction to the sport either as a player or coach," said Doug Beal, co-chair of the Volleyball Hall of Fame Selection Committee. "This induction class, exemplifying diversity among gender and represented countries, continues the well-established excellence of the Volleyball Hall of Fame as a worldwide institution honoring the legends of the game. Volleyball is truly an international sport, not only reaching the five countries of this year's inductees, but the 215-plus countries associated with the FIVB, which is the largest international sports federation."

With 2010 marking its 25th induction class, the Volleyball Hall of Fame continues to showcase its worldwide theme of recognizing the top individuals within the sport. Russia will have its 10th individual enshrined into the Hall, Brazil will have its fifth and sixth inductees and Poland will have its fourth individual enshrined. Both Peru and Hungary will have their second inductee into the Volleyball Hall of Fame. A total of 17 different countries are represented in the Volleyball Hall of Fame with at least one inductee. All told, 100 individuals will have been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame after this year's enshrinement ceremony.

FIVB President Jizhong Wei of China has confirmed he will attend the 2010 Volleyball Hall of Fame Induction festivities, and is looking forward to his first visit to Holyoke.

"We are particularly delighted with the Class of 2010," Volleyball Hall of Fame President David Casey said. "It is a very strong class and represents some of the best in the sport from around the world. We can't wait to get them all in Holyoke and bestow upon them the accolades they all so well deserve. This is our pinnacle event of the year, and this is a very exciting group."

For additional information on attending the 2010 Volleyball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, contact the Volleyball Hall of Fame at info@volleyhall.org or visit the Hall's website at www.VolleyHall.org.

Volleyball Hall of Fame Class of 2010

Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar (BRAZIL) - FEMALE BEACH VOLLEYBALL
Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar show remarkable resilience on the beach as they played in more international beach events together than any other women's team since the start of the FIVB circuit in 1992. They won a total of 31 FIVB international beach volleyball tournaments, in addition to winning silver medals at both the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The duo won the SWATCH/FIVB World Tour season points title six times, including a remarkable five-year run from 1997 to 2001 followed by their final title in 2004. Shelda and Adriana won four medals at the SWATCH FIVB World Championship during their careers, including gold medals in 1999 and 2001, silver in 2003 and a bronze in 1997.

Gabriella Kotsis was a pioneering female volleyball coach in her home country of Hungary. She became the very first female head coach to lead volleyball teams to multiple Olympic Games, and is the only female to lead teams to three Olympics. Kotsis coached Hungary at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. Hungary missed out on achieving a medal with consecutive fourth-place finishes at the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games with Kotsis at the helm of the team. To this day, only one other female has led two different teams to the Olympic Games, that being 2002 Volleyball Hall of Fame inductee Lang Ping who guided her home country China to the 1996 Olympic Games and the United States to the 2008 Olympic Games in her hometown of Beijing.

Gabriela Perez del Solar (PERU) - FEMALE INDOOR PLAYER
Gabriela Perez del Solar, who earned her first international CAP at the age of 17, competed in two Olympic Games during her career. She paced Peru to a fourth-place finish at the 1984 Olympic Games played in Los Angeles. Four years later, she led Peru to the silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. During the 1988 Olympic Games, Perez del Solar was recognized with the Best Receiver award as a multi-talented middle blocker. She and Peruvian teammates earned the bronze medal at the 1986 FIVB World Championship in which she was chosen as the Best Blocker. Perez del Solar played in three FIVB World Cups as she earned Best Blocker in 1985 at the age of 17 and again in 1991. She competed in five South American Championships and won four gold medals in the event. Perez del Solar retired from competition after helping her team win the 1993 South American Championship.

Aleksandr Savin played a huge role on the Soviet Union Teams that dominated international volleyball from 1975 to 1982. He helped the Soviet Union to two Olympic Games appearances during his career. Savin was 21-years-old when he helped USSR reached the gold-medal match at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal before losing to Poland in a dramatic five-set match. Savin was the young participant for the Soviet Union during the 1976 Olympic Games. Four years later, Savin and USSR would not be denied as it won the gold medal on home soil at the 1980 Olympic Games with a four-set victory over Bulgaria. USSR dropped only two sets during the 1980 Olympic Games. Savin led the Soviet Union National Team to the gold medal at the 1977 FIVB World Cup and the 1978 FIVB World Championship as it built its domination toward the 1980 Olympic Games.

The late Hubert Wagner was a successful volleyball player for Poland and later transitioned to become its most revered coach. He was a member of Poland's 1968 Olympic Team which finished fifth in Mexico City. Wagner played a total of 194 matches for Poland between 1963 and 1971. Two years after retiring as a player, he accepted the head coach position for Poland's Men's National Team from 1973-1976. Wagner immediately pushed Poland to the top with its first-ever FIVB World Championship title in 1974, followed by the gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. He held a short tenure from 1978-79 as Poland's Women's National Team head coach before taking on his second stint with the Men's National Team from 1983-85. During his second tenure coaching Poland's Men's Team, Wagner led his team to a silver medal at the 1983 European Championship. Aside from a third term as coach of the men's team from 1996 to 1998, he served as Secretary General of the Polish Volleyball Association. Sadly, Wagner died in an automobile accident in 2002 at the age of 61.

The Volleyball Hall of Fame, incorporated in 1978, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the great men and women of the sport, and the promotion of volleyball worldwide. Prior to 2009, a total of 88 individuals have been enshrined into the Volleyball Hall of Fame, which is located in the birthplace of the sport. The 25th enshrinement event, including Hall of Famers 95 through 100, will take place in Holyoke on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22, 2010. Among the Induction festivities, a VIP reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 21, at Wistariahurst Museum, followed by a public "Meet & Greet" on Friday, Oct. 22, with the formal Induction Dinner and Ceremony taking place the evening of Friday, Oct. 22, at the Log Cabin Banquet House. Tickets to the dinner can be ordered online at the Hall's website (www.VolleyHall.org) or by calling the Hall directly at (413) 536-0926.

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