The glory of having won the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour La Paz Challenge will last less than three days for Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss as the Americans are among the teams that headline the qualifier of the Tepic Elite16, which will be held on Wednesday in Mexico.
La Paz champions Kloth and Nuss back in the qualifier at Tepic Elite16
The Americans will have to earn their spot in the main draw on Wednesday – watch on VBTV
Published 12:20, 21 Mar 2023
The La Paz Challenge winners are among the 16 female teams that will compete for the last four main draw spots in the five-day tournament held in the state of Nayarit. The men will get on the court on Wednesday as well, also with 16 teams chasing the four berths in play.
Going straight from the top of the podium to the qualifier is nothing new to Kloth and Nuss, who did it twice during the 2022 Beach Pro Tour season. The Americans had to play in the qualifier of the Itapema Challenge after winning the Coolangatta Futures and also had to fight for their spot in the main draw at the Jurmala Elite16 shortly after their victory at the Kuşadası Challenge.
Kloth and Nuss succeeded on both occasions and they have, in fact, a perfect record on Beach Pro Tour qualifiers so far, having advanced in all five they played.
“The Elite16 is only the best of the best,” Nuss said about their expectations for Tepic after their victory in La Paz. “I feel like every team that was here this week can compete, but Tepic is going to be another caliber. We’re just excited to get after it.”
The Americans are the top-seeded duo in the women’s qualifier, which will feature teams from 12 different countries. Among them are 13 teams that competed in La Paz this past week – the new faces are Brazil’s Andressa Cavalcanti/Vitoria Rodrigues and Taiana Lima/Hegeile ‘Hege’ Santos and New Zealand’s Shaunna Polley/Alice Zeimann.
As with the Americans, Polley and Zeimann also enter the Tepic Elite16 qualifier only a few days after a victory at the Beach Pro Tour as the two topped the podium in the first Futures event of the season, held in their home sand of Mount Maunganui Beach.
The men’s qualifier will feature two teams that stepped on the podium in La Paz in second-placed Stefan Boermans and Yorick De Groot of the Netherlands and third-placed Robin Seidl and Moritz Pristauz of Austria - fourth-placed Brazilians Evandro Gonçalves and Arthur Lanci will also play. Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, who won the La Paz Challenge, were originally entered too, but decided to withdraw from the tournament.
With 13 teams that competed in La Paz last week and three new ones, including two duos that made it to the podium of the 2022 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Renato Lima and Andre Loyola/George Wanderley, the Tepic qualifier will dave duos from nine different countries and could be one of the strongest of the season.
Matches will start at 09:00 local time (16:00 UTC) and will be held in an indoor facility, Amado Nervo Auditorium. The qualifier will have 24 matches held on the two courts set up in the facility.