World’s top five to contend for Tepic Elite16 women’s title
The five best teams in the FIVB World Rankings will play in Mexico
Pubblicato 01:53, 16 Mar 2023
Each of the teams that occupy the top five spots in the FIVB World Rankings – Brazil’s Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa/Ana Patricia Ramos, the Netherlands’ Raisa Schoon/Katja Stam, Brazil’s Carol Salgado/Barbara Seixas, Australia’s Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho and Latvia’s Tina Graudina/Anastasija Samoilova – will be on the court in the event, raising the level of competition in the second Elite16 tournament of 2023.
The Tepic Elite16 will feature 28 teams – 12 of which start directly in the main draw and 16 that will need to overcome Wednesday’s qualifier in Mexico. As many as 15 different nations and four regions (NORCECA, South America, Europe and Asia) will be represented in the event, which will have the presence of 22 Olympians and four Olympic medallists.
Here are five teams who have a lot to play for in Tepic:
Ranked second at both the FIVB World Rankings and the Tepic Elite16 main draw, Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam have been among the most consistent teams in international beach volleyball over the next few months. The two made it to the podium in the last four tournaments they played and even won the first Elite16 of the season, held in Doha, in February. They have a huge gap to erase in order to catch Duda and Ana Patricia at the World Rankings, but if they want to return to the top spot, where they were last year, they could start their climb with a good finish in Tepic.
After battling in international tournaments for the most part of the last decade, Agatha Bednarczuk and Rebecca Cavalcanti decided to join forces in 2023, following Agatha’s return to the sand after giving birth to her daughter Kahena. The two were fifth in their first tournament as partners in the Brazilian Tour last weekend and will now make their international debut in Mexico. Although it will be Agatha’s first international event after her return, the two know they will face huge competition from several other Brazilian teams for a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics and that a strong start could make a big push in their campaign. They are seeded sixth in the main draw in Tepic.
Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles are another team that will face insane competition for a place at the next Olympics as the United States have several duos standing out as potential Olympic contenders right now. The two joined forces late last season and had a promising start, finishing second in the Torquay Elite16. The result placed them in seventh place in the Tepic main draw entry list and raised the expectations about the team for 2023.
Another recent partnership with good results to show, Julia Sude and Isabel Schneider will be one of two German duos competing in Tepic. The two became partners just five months ago, when Sude ended her long partnership with Karla Borger, and had top ten finishes in all three events they played, taking gold at the Dubai Challenge. With a full preseason under their belts, the Germans could go for even more in 2023 and will try to give the first step in Tepic, where they will begin in the qualifier as the third-best-ranked team.
Alexia Richard and Lézana Placette have been competing together internationally since 2014, but the 2023 season will be particularly important for the two as they prepare to represent France at the Paris 2024 Olympics. The two have established themselves as a competitive duo at the international level, but are looking to make a leap in 2023 and become true medal contenders. They came close to making it to the podium in their most recent event, the Cape Town Elite16, in November, where they were fourth, and made part of their preseason in Brazil, finishing second in a National Tour event before making the trip to Mexico. The French will begin in the qualifier, seeded eighth, and have a big hurdle to overcome before competing in the main draw.