Challenge - La Paz, MEX - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Austria new teams CEV

The four top Austrian players will be with different formations from now on (Photo: CEV)

The top men’s beach volleyball teams from Austria have decided to make a switch following the opening event of the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season and the country will be represented by new duos in the remainder of the international season.

After they didn’t advance to the main draw of the season-opening Doha Elite16 two weeks ago, Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller decided to go separate ways and will now be paired with Moritz Pristauz and Martin Ermacora respectively, who also previously formed a team together.

“I understand that this change might have surprised many people at this time, but it’s what Robin and Moritz wanted,” Austrian national team head coach Martin Olejnak commented. “The coaching staff has evaluated the situation and discussed it with the players and I’m very confident that this move will give us new power and I see great potential in both teams.”

The 33-year-old Seidl, a Rio 2016 Olympian, and the 27-year-old Waller first became partners during the 2018 season. In 42 international events together, the two won gold twice on the FIVB World Tour – in Haiyang, China, in 2018, and Baden, Austria, in 2020. They won silver at the Baden Futures in the 2022 Beach Pro Tour season and had a fourth-place finish at the Cape Town Elite16 as their best result in a year in which they finished ninth at seven of the 11 events they played.

Ermacora, 28, and Pristauz, 26, had a longer stint as partners, and first joined forces back in 2015. The Austrians were on the same side of the court at 67 international events and won three silvers and two bronzes. Two of those medals were earned in the Beach Pro Tour inaugural season when they finished second at the Espinho Challenge and third at the Doha Challenge. They also won bronze at the 2019 European Championship.

Both teams are entered to play in the Beach Pro Tour La Paz Challenge, which is set to take place from March 16-19, and are expected to make their first appearances in the Mexican tournament.