2016-10-24 15:37:00 CEST

How to make the stars smile…

Winning awards always helps!

Phil Dalhausser (left) is all smiles…the American was voted Best Setter in the FIVB end-of-season awards. Photo: Mihai Stetcu.Phil Dalhausser (left) is all smiles…the American was voted Best Setter in the FIVB end-of-season awards. Photo: Mihai Stetcu.

The best in beach volleyball were grinning from ear to ear last week when news of the FIVB’s end-of-season awards hit the net.

We revealed who won what in the hugely-anticipated annual list in which the stars, coaches, referees and officials vote who they think smashed it on the sand during the 2016 season.

The big winners were Olympic gold medalists Bruno Oscar Schmidt, of Brazil, and Germany’s all-conquering Laura Ludwig, who were voted sportsman and sportswoman of the year respectively.

You can get the full lowdown of the men’s and women’s winners here on our website, but what did the players have for themselves on social media? Put it this way, there were plenty of thank yous!

That was certainly the message posted by Swatch World Tour Finals hero Bruno on his and teammate Alison Cerutti’s Instagram page…Bruno won three awards while Alison was named Best Offensive Player.

“These awards need to be shared with all those who are in our day-to-day lives, professionals of the highest caliber – technical staff, our families, friends, sponsors and fans,” wrote Bruno. “This recognition is for those who push us, encourage us and play with us. Thank you very much.”

Lovely words Bruno!

Quero agradecer, em nome da nossa equipe, as mensagens de parabéns e de carinho após as excelentes notícias que nosso time recebeu hoje. Estou muito feliz por ter sido eleito 'Melhor Jogador' de 2016 pela FIVB - International Volleyball Federation, pelos prêmios que recebi de 'Homem do Esporte' e 'Melhor Defensor' da temporada, e pela eleição do meu parceiro Alison como 'Melhor Atacante' do ano. Dar parabéns também a todos os demais premiados. Esses prêmios precisam ser divididos com todos aqueles que estão no nosso dia a dia, profissionais do mais alto gabarito da comissão técnica, nossas famílias, amigos, patrocinadores, fãs... Esses prêmios, esse reconhecimento, é de todos que estão com a gente, que nos empurram, incentivam, que jogam com a gente. Muito obrigado! Abraços Bruno @bbnosesportes @underarmourbrasil @furnasesportes @oakleybr @visa_br @Embratel #somostodosbrasil

See this Instagram photo by @alison_brunoschmidt * 2,434 likes

Meanwhile, for the second successive season, Canadian Heather Bansley was named best defender and she was pretty chuffed…

Wow, incredibly humbled & honoured to be named the #FIVBWorldTour Best Defensive Player for the second year in a row!! 😲 #2016 #FIVB #BeachVolleyball #TeamCanada 🏐🇨🇦

See this Instagram photo by @heatherbansley * 910 likes

‘Thank you!’ were also the words on the lips of Best Blocker Paolo Nicolai and Best Setter Phil Dalhausser:

Best blocker award from the FIVB!!! @redbullitalia @smartitalia @oakley @federazioneitalianapallavolo @aeronautica.militare

See this Instagram photo by @paolo_nicolai * 1,606 likes

FIVB awards came out, and I am honored to receive the Best Setter Award! Thank you to my family, friends, sponsors and FANS for all the support and love. It allows me to work hard and keep pushing to be the best beach volleyball player, I can be. #ilovemyjob #beach #beachvolleyball #lovewhatyoudo #athlete #workhard @redbull @underarmour @oakley @66audio @rapidforcephs

See this Instagram photo by @phildalhausser * 1,135 likes

Legendary Brazilian Larissa was named Best Offensive Player for the second year running and she not only acknowledged the award but also paid tribute to the talents of fellow Brazilian Duda, the teenager who was crowned Rookie of the Year.

A @fivbvolleyball divulgou hoje os melhores atletas da temporada é nossa craque Larissa se destacou com dois prêmios o de jogadora mais ofensiva pelo segundo ano consecutivo e mais uma vez eleita a melhor levantadora do mundo (9 vezes) ! Com os dois prêmios individuais Larissa acumula 18 prêmios individuais FIVB sendo a segunda jogadora mais premiada pela entidade. A melhor jogadora da temporada este ano ficou com a alemã Laura Ludwig. Além de Larissa outra brasileira premiada foi Duda como melhor estreante. Parabéns Larissa e todos os premiados pela temporada 2016 !!! 🔺Congratulations @lalu86 on the award for the best player of the season. 👏👏😉. 👉 Confira todos vencedores: http://www.fivb.com/en/about/news/germanys-ludwig-wins-top-individual-2016-world?id=65162 Foto Divulgação Globoesporte #EquipeLarissaeTalita #larissaetalita #larissa #magicwoman #melhoresdoano #underarmour #vult #tampico #timepetrobras #cde #radix #bestoftheworldtour #beachvolley #bestsetter #bestoffensiveplayer @cob @cbvolei @petrobras @underarmour

See this Instagram photo by @larissaetalitaoficial * 887 likes

And finally, on the subject of rising stars, Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich was honored to be named Most Improved Player on the Tour.

Thank you to all who support me😘😘#This season was great🇨🇭🇨🇭#ready for more#train hard or go home💪🏻💪🏻

See this Instagram photo by @heidrichjoana * 1,559 likes

As we think you’ll agree, that’s a lot of proud and happy people with cause for extra celebration after a long, hard season at the beach.

Congratulations to you all once again – roll on 2017!

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