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

BPT Uberlandia - Women Main Draw - LATvsUSA_13

Tina receives a serve during the second day of the main draw in Brazil

This week’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Uberlândia Elite16 is only the third tournament for Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova in 2023, but the reigning European champions know exactly what they are looking for in Brazil – consistency.

The Latvians gave another step to contend for a medal at Praia Clube on Friday, when they advanced to the elimination rounds in Uberlândia by finishing second in Pool C. Besides the Europeans, 11 other teams remain alive in the event and will be in action on Saturday, when the Round of 12 and the quarterfinals will be played.

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After a solid win over Brazilians Tainá Bigi and Victoria Lopes on Thursday, Tina and Anastasia had two matches to play on Friday, both against American teams. They had mixed results, falling to Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes in the tie-breaker (19-21, 24-22, 15-11) and sweeping (21-15, 21-17) Sarah Sponcil and Terese Cannon, but left the court certain they’re one step closer to getting to the level of consistency they want.

“We are very satisfied with the level we displayed in the three pool matches,” Anastasija said. “Even if we lost one of them, we still played at a really high level. We have been playing at a good level and we’ll try to keep it through the playoffs.”

BPT Uberlandia - Women Main Draw - LATvsUSA_09

The European champions hug after a point scored against Cheng and Hughes

The two, who are partners since 2016 and were fourth at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago, started the season with a good result, finishing fourth at the Doha Elite16, in February, but couldn’t keep the same level in the Tepic Elite16, seven weeks later, dropping all their three matches to rank 13th.

“We know how well we can play, the problem has been maintaining it at all times,” Tina added. “Heading into the playoffs, we are focused on showing our best game. If we can do that, there’s a good chance we’re going to win. Everyone here is fighting for the gold medal and so are we.”

Pool C winners were Cheng and Hughes, who after topping the Latvians defeated Tainá and Victoria in two sets (21-17, 21-14) to end their pool play campaign undefeated – the Americans are guaranteed in the quarterfinals in Uberlândia.

Beach Pro Tour Uberlândia Elite16 – Match Schedule & Results

Reigning world champions Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Ana Patrícia, who represent Praia Clube and practice at the facility every day, finished in first place in Pool A, going directly to the quarterfinals. The Brazilians were pushed to three sets for the first time at the Uberlândia Elite16 on Friday, but managed to come back and top German qualifiers Sandra Ittlinger and Karla Borger in the tie-breaker (18-21, 21-15, 15-12).

The Germans advanced to the Round of 12 as the third-placed team in the pool, as did Americans Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss, who finished second after their two-set (21-12, 21-13) victory against compatriots Julia Scoles and Betsi Flint.

Pool B also had a Brazilian team at the top after Bárbara Seixas and Carol Salgado downed Swiss Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré in the tie-breaker (21-13, 18-21, 15-10) in the pool final. The third team from Pool B to make it to the elimination rounds is the one of Dutch Olympics Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam, who overcame Swiss Esmée Böbner and Zoé Vergé-Dépré also in three sets (21-18, 17-21, 15-11).

BPT Uberlandia - Women Main Draw - BRAvsSUI_05

Bárbara and Carol in action against the Swiss

Pool D had two teams tied in first place with two wins in Australia's Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy and Switzerland's Nina Brunner/Tanja Hüberli. Despite falling to the Europeans in the tie-breaker (21-17, 20-22, 17-15) in their first match on Friday, the Asians, who came back to defeat China's Chen Xue/Xinyi Xia also in three sets (21-23, 21-15, 15-10) later, had the edge in the tie-breakers and claimed the direct spot in the quarterfinals.

The Round of 12 duels in Uberlândia, which will begin at 09:00 local time (12:00 UTC) on Saturday, will have Xue/Xia against Mäder/Vergé-Dépré, Schoon/Stam facing Tina/Anastasija, Brunner/Hüberli meeting Ittlinger/Borger and Kloth/Nuss playing Sponcil/Cannon.

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