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Tokyo Olympian Sarah Sponcil will take to the courts with a new partner when the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour starts in March. Speaking to Volleyball Mag, the 25-year-old defender confirmed she would join forces with Terese Cannon in 2022.

Rivals during most of their collegiate careers, Sponcil and the 26-year-old Cannon were partners in two events on the American AVP back in 2018, finishing third in Chicago, when they came out of the qualifier, and seventh in Waikiki.

“It’s really easy to work with Terese,” Sponcil said about her new partner. “She can worry about her stuff, I can worry about my stuff, and it’s really easy to communicate what we need during certain situations. I think that explains why I like T so much. I feel like she wants me to succeed as much as I want her to succeed. I just want her to ball, and that goes both ways. That’s what makes it fun. You’re just trying to make each other better.”

A 1.90m-tall blocker, Cannon first played internationally in 2019. She has played in 14 events since then and won four medals, most notably a bronze with Sara Hughes in the season-ending event of 2021 in Itapema, Brazil, last November.

Sponcil finished ninth at last year's Tokyo Olympics with Kelly Claes, with whom she won back-to-back FIVB World Tour events in Sochi and Ostrava. The two played together for the last time in October, during the World Tour Finals in Sardinia, Italy, where they finished fifth.

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Claes and Sponcil were partners between 2018 and 2021

The new duo will be coached by Scott Davenport, who worked with reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada during most of the period between the Rio 2016 and the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“It’s cool to actually build a team and practise every day,” Cannon added. “The three of us are in it together.”