Duda

Duda will debut her new team with Ana Patricia in Rosarito

The best new teams in women’s beach volleyball will be in action at the first Elite 16 event on the new Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour.

To be held in Rosarito, Mexico from March 23-27, the entry list for the tournament reunites 28 teams from 12 countries and four continental confederations. Nearly half of those teams are new, with 13 established since last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

There are teams from seven nations among the 12 main draw duos, while the 16-team qualifier features eight different nationalities. All the teams in Rosarito will be competing for the USD 150,000 prize purse per gender.

Half of the 12 main draw teams are new, including two seeded among the top three. Brazilian Olympians Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Ana Patricia Ramos joined forces after Tokyo and will make their debut as a team as the top-seeded duo in Rosarito.

Behind them are Swiss pair Nina Brunner (formerly Betschart) and Tanja Huberli, the reigning European champions, who are together since 2016. Americans Kelly Claes, a Tokyo Olympian, and Betsi Flint, another new formation, are the third highest ranked team ahead of the Rosarito event.

Brazil and the United States both have two more teams with a place in the main draw. The South Americans are set to be represented by sixth-seeded Fernanda Berti/Maria Elisa Antonelli and ninth-seeded Barbara Seixas/Carol Salgado. USA will present new teams in Sarah Sponcil/Terese Cannon (ranked seventh) and Tokyo Olympic champion April Ross and temporary partner Emily Day (tenth).

Reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada and Tokyo Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho of Australia are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

Olympic semifinalists Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia (eighth), Tokyo bronze medallists Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland (11th) and wild cards Atenas Gutierrez and Maria Jose Quintero of Mexico complete the list of teams automatically placed in the main draw.

Brazil, Germany, the United States and Japan dominate the qualifier, with teams from the four countries comprising 12 of the 16 tandems in contention. Brazil has five in Talita Antunes/Rebecca Cavalcanti, Vitoria Rodrigues/Andressa Cavalcanti, Taina Bigi/Victoria Lopes, Taiana Lima/Hege Santos and Elize Maia/Thamela Coradello, Germany has three in Karla Borger/Julia Sude, Sandra Ittlinger/Isabel Schneider and Svenja Muller/Cinja Tillmann, and the United States (Sara Hughes/Kelley Kolinske and Lauren Fendrick/Emily Stockman) and Japan (Miki Ishii/Sayaka Mizoe and Akiko Hasegawa/Yurika Sakaguchi) have two each.

The other duos that will play to be represented in the main draw are the Netherlands’ Raisa Schoon/Katja Stam, Austria’s Katharina Schutzenhofer/Lena Plesiutschnig and Mexico’s Abril Flores/Maria Ibarra.

All the action on the Beach Pro Tour will be broadcast live and on demand on Volleyball TV.