Beach Pro Tour - News


The Elite16 tournament held in Doha, Qatar, last month gave beach volleyball fans around the world a small taste of what the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season will be like.

The exciting matches that took place in the Qatari capital set the scene for what is expected to be a spectacular season, with the top teams on the planet battling around the world for gold medals, but also for valuable ranking points on the road to the Paris 2024 Games.

  • Watch the 2023 Beach Pro Tour season on VBTV the next event takes place in Tepic, MX

Competition has never been so intense in women's international beach volleyball and here are ten teams, including returning and new ones, which are definitely worth keeping an eye on when the season resumes in Mexico in March:

Clancy/Mariafe (Australia)

The Tokyo Olympic silver medallists are in their sixth season as partners and there’s a strong argument that their game has only gotten better with time. The Aussies, who started the year on the podium with a third-place finish in Doha, have a highly-entertaining playing style, built on quick sets to the pins and a lot of athleticism. Other interesting aspects of their game are Clancy’s serve, which is among the most powerful on the Beach Pro Tour, and Mariafe’s positive energy on the court.

Agatha/Rebecca (Brazil)

Longtime opponents, Agatha and Rebecca have decided to join forces for the 2023 season in an attempt to make it to the Olympics again, this time as partners. A Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist, Agatha sat out of the 2022 season to give birth to her daughter Kahena, but has been working hard on and off the sand and is about to return to the sand. In Rebecca, a Tokyo Olympian, she’ll have a very technical and efficient partner.

Melissa/Brandie (Canada)

Another new team in the 2023 season, Melissa and Brandie had their first tournament as partners, finishing fifth in Doha. The Canadians have great chemistry off the court, having been volleyball teammates at the York University in Toronto, and are both very accomplished. They both appeared at the Olympics and won World Championship medals with their former partners. In theory, they have what it takes to form a fantastic team with Brandie figuring among the top blockers in international beach volleyball and Melissa being an elite defender for several years.

Slukova/Havelkova (Czech Republic)

The always-efficient combination of a veteran beach player and a volleyball star who transitions to the sand will be put to test again with the Czechs. Arguably the country’s most accomplished beach player, three-time Olympian Slukova is back on the sand after a baby break and she now has by her side Havelkova, arguably the top Czech volleyball player ever. After a career that took her to some of the top leagues on the planet, the 34-year-old Havelkova made the switch to the sand in order to attempt to compete in her first Olympics. The two have made a promising start, with top-ten finishes in their first two events, late in 2022, and will only get better with time.

Ludwig/Lippmann (Germany)

The German team is another one that features the beach-indoor combination. Rio 2016 Olympic champion Ludwig has a proven record and also qualified for the Tokyo Games with Margareta Kozuch, another volleyball star who switched to the sand. Lippmann, who had a stellar career with the German national team, has been training with Ludwig since last year. The pair finished ninth at their only tournament together, in Cape Town. Competition among the German teams for a spot in Paris will be tough, but that has never been a problem for Ludwig, who could make it to her fifth-straight edition of the Games.

Tina/Anastasija (Latvia)

The Latvians have made it to the top tier in international beach volleyball over the last few years, having won two European titles and made it to the semifinals of some of the biggest events, including the Tokyo Olympics. They have been in so many semifinals that it is difficult to believe they are yet to win their first international title as partners. However, it’s even harder to imagine that they will not be successful in 2023, especially after they started the season with a fourth-place finish in Doha.

Stam/Schoon (Netherlands)

The young Dutch team started their rise on the international beach volleyball scene in 2021, when they claimed one of the last spots in play for the Tokyo Olympics. It’s fair to say they never looked back. The combination of Stam’s size and athleticism and Schoon’s incredible ball control have taken the team a long way and they have earned their place among the top teams in the world with five medals won in the 2022 Beach Pro Tour season – they were the only women’s team to win two golds at the Elite16 level. Their 2023 season started just as strongly, as they topped the podium in Doha.

Liliana/Soria (Spain)

It will be intriguing to see Spanish veteran Liliana with a new partner after she spent the last 15 years with Elsa Baquerizo. The three-time Olympian certainly made a great pick with Soria, a talented defender who had a breakout season with Sofia Gonzalez in 2022. Liliana, who’s a mother of two and will be back on the sand for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, has once been one of the most physical players in international beach volleyball, but has had great success in shaping her game over the years.

Heidrich/Vergé-Dépré (Switzerland)

The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists will make for one of the most anticipated reunions of 2023 as it’s been almost nine months since they last played together – Heidrich has been dealing with a shoulder injury that she sustained during last year’s World Championship. One of the tallest teams on the Beach Pro Tour, the Swiss have consistently been among the top teams in the world since they became partners, in 2017, and are determined to make another Olympic run, which would be the third for them individually and the second as a team.

Hughes/Cheng (USA)

The reunited Americans are among the best teams in the world since they started their second stint as partners, last November. Longtime college partners at the University of Southern California, Hughes and Cheng have played in five tournaments since their return and took gold at four of them (including the 2022 Beach Pro Tour Finals), winning 25 of their 28 matches in the period. This is a team with outstanding ball control and which plays the game very aggressively, pushing their opponents to their limit.