Elite16 - Uberlandia, BRA - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News


Swiss Brunner and Hüberli were second in Doha in their only appearance in 2023

The third stop of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour in Brazil during the 2023 season, the Uberlândia Elite16 will mark the return of some of the biggest female stars of the sport to the sand from April 26-30.

The tournament will feature 28 women’s teams, which will compete at Praia Clube, a traditional multi-sport club that for years has had one of the top women’s volleyball teams in Brazil, and will be going for five days. The event begins on Wednesday with the qualifiers, where 16 duos will be in action, and the four that go undefeated will progress to Friday’s main draw, where they will join the 12 best-ranked duos entered in the Uberlândia Elite16.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Uberlândia Elite16 live or on demand on VBTV.

The tournament in Uberlândia will have teams from 12 different countries in action, with hosts Brazil leading the way with seven duos, followed by the United States, which have five tandems entered in the tournament.

Here are four players who will be making comebacks at the Uberlândia Elite16:

Brunner and Hüberli (Switzerland)

The 2021 European champions Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli have already appeared in the 2023 Beach Pro Tour season, taking silver at the Doha Elite16, in February, but had to sit out of the four tournaments held since then (the La Paz Challenge and the Tepic Elite16 in Mexico and the Itapema and Saquarema Challenges, in Brazil) while dealing with minor injuries. After a couple of months of recovering and preparing, they will be back on the court in Uberlândia, starting as the fifth-seeded in the main draw.

Agatha (Brazil)

Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist and 2015 world champion Agatha Bednarczuk is yet to play on the Beach Pro Tour as she missed the entire 2022 season to give birth to her first daughter, Kahena. The 39-year-old Agatha is now paired with Rebecca Cavalcanti, with who she played in a Brazilian Tour event back in March. The two planned on making their international debut at last month’s Tepic Elite16, but a minor knee injury forced Agatha to take another break and she’s now trying to get back on time to compete in Uberlândia, where they will start as the sixth-seeded team in the main draw.


Agatha in action on the Brazilian Tour after her return (Photo: Dhavid Normando/FVImagem/CBV)

Heidrich (Switzerland)

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Joana Heidrich is set to make her comeback after she sustained a major shoulder injury during the bronze medal match of last year’s FIVB World Championship, in June. The Swiss star had surgery and after months of physio is ready to return to competition this week in Uberlândia, reuniting with partner Anouk Vergé-Dépré, who has also not played on the Beach Pro Tour since then - the two are seeded eighth in the main draw. Before Heidrich’s injury, the 2020 European champions had made a semifinal appearance at the Ostrava Elite16 in 2022.