Aleksandrs Samoilovs seeks one more victory in season full of them
Aleksandrs Samoilovs remembers 2017. He remembers all three months of preparing for a season that lasted just seven events, eight weeks.
“Two months,” he said, “then there’s nothing.”
This season has been markedly different. Latvia’s most recognizable beach volleyball player nearly doubled his events, from seven to 13 on the FIVB, adding two more on the CEV and another p1440, while still four others in the new King of the Court Series. His income on the sand from 2017-2018 more than tripled.
“We live because of these tournaments and our families live because of these tournaments,” he said in San Jose, a day before winning p1440’s debut event. “So it’s really fortunate for us to have more tournaments, to earn more money and to have a better life.”
And the ‘Lion King,’ as dubbed by his mane of blond locks, has one more event yet, in p1440’s final event of the year, the Top Guns in Huntington Beach on November 30-December 2. It will complete not only a packed season, but one replete with a menagerie of different formats. He has competed in monstrous double-eliminations, such as when the FIVB and AVP collaborated in May to put on a 48-team tournament. He has competed in modified pool play. He has competed in the rapid-fire King of the Court.
Now, at the end of the month, he will compete in a debut Top Guns event. Samoilovs is one of many international talents who will be descending upon Huntington Beach, seeking one more highlight in a year full of them.
After going winless on the FIVB in 2017, Samoilovs added two gold medals – in Espinho, Portugal and Moscow, Russia – with longtime partner Janis Smedins. In San Jose, after reuniting with former partner Martins Plavins, he tacked on a third, while pocketing a swift $14,000 in the process. And in Huntington, with the unique format where all four players in each pool will play with one another, his partner-hopping success is expected to continue.
Throughout a wildly successful career, it hasn’t much mattered with whom Samoilovs has partnered. Be it Ruslans Sorokins, Plavins or Smedins, Samoilovs has advanced to the highest level of the game – the Olympics – with each. This season has been a smaller-scale version of that, with victories with two different partners, seeking a third with, well, whoever he may end up with in Huntington Beach.
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