Elite16 - João Pessoa, BRA - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Carol Horta/Ana Luiza (BRA) vs. Bansley/Bukovec (CAN) - Round 2 #8248431

Heather Bansley in attack

Two-time Olympian Heather Bansley, who came back from retirement earlier this year, made it to her first Elite16 main draw on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour. She and her Canadian partner Sophie Bukovec, a 2022 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship silver medallist, were among the eight teams (four per gender) that emerged successfully from Wednesday’s qualifiers at the top-level event in Joao Pessoa and filled up the remaining main draw vacancies.

· Watch the Joao Pessoa Elite16 main draw live on VBTV.

Seeded second in the qualifier bracket, Bansley & Bukovec went through the first qualification round with a bye and, in the second, they mastered a shutout of Brazil’s Carol Horta & Ana Luiza Mohr. Bukovec impressed with as many as eight aces towards the match high of 19 points. The Canadian pair will continue their Joao Pessoa campaign in Pool C, in which they will meet Germany’s Cinja Tillmann & Svenja Muller on Thursday, and Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk & Rebecca Cavalcanti and Netherlands’ Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon on Friday.

The remaining top seeds in the women’s qualifier bracket also lived up to the expectations and grabbed their tickets to the main draw. Number one Lezana Placette & Alexia Richard of France achieved a hard-fought victory over Ukraine’s Maryna Hladun & Tetiana Lazarenko and will challenge Brazil’s Barbara Seixas & Carol Solberg and Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska & Aleksandra Wachowicz in Pool D on Thursday, as well as China’s Xue Chen & Xia Xinyi on Friday.

In a meeting between two home teams, third-seeded Andressa Cavalcanti & Vitoria Rodrigues delivered a shutout of fellow Brazilians Taiana Lima & Hegeile Almeida and advanced to Pool B, where they will start off their main draw campaign against Germany’s Louisa Lippmann & Laura Ludwig on Thursday and continue it with games against another Brazilian duo, Taina Bigi & Victoria Lopes, and United States’ Taryn Kloth & Kristen Nuss on Friday.

Brazil’s Talita Antunes & Thamela Coradello, seeded fourth in the qualifier line-up, managed an emphatic sweep of their second-round game against Norway’s Sunniva Helland-Hansen & Emilie Olimstad, with eight kill blocks from Talita, and progressed to Pool A, in which they will start off against Switzerland’s Joana Mader & Anouk Verge-Depre and continue with a match against Latvia’s Anastasija Samoilova & Tina Graudina on the first day of pool play. In their third main draw game, Talita & Thamela will go up against the top-seeded team in the tournament, the world’s number one Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) & Ana Patricia Ramos of Brazil, on Friday.

Brazil’s Adrielson Dos Santos & Arthur Da Silva became the lowest-seeded team to advance to the Joao Pessoa main draw. The number 12 in the men’s qualifier bracket hammered out a upset of fifth-seeded Chilean cousins Marco Grimalt & Esteban Grimalt in the first round and were even more emphatic against another Chilean pair, fourth-seeded Noe Aravena & Vicente Droguett, for a shutout in the second. Adrielson & Arthur move on to Pool A, facing Netherlands’ Stefan Boermans & Yorick de Groot on Thursday, and compatriots Pedro Solberg & Gustavo Carvalhaes (Guto), and reigning world champions Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner of Czechia on Friday.

Top-seeded qualifiers Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan of Qatar booked the last vacancy in Pool D, after cruising through Wednesday’s qualifications with a win over Brazil’s Lucas Sampaio & Eduardo Barbosa (Dudu) and a win over Austria’s Mathias Seiser & Florian Schnetzer. The Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists’ Joao Pessoa journey continues with Thursday’s matches against Italy’s Paolo Nicolai & Samuele Cottafava and USA’s Trevor Crabb & Theodore Brunner, and Friday’s game against Brazil’s Evandro Oliveira & Arthur Mariano.

Cherif/Ahmed (QAT - home) vs. Lucas Sampaio/Dudu (BRA) - Round 1 #8244302

Ahmed Tijan serving in Joao Pessoa

Renato Lima & Vitor Felipe, seeded second in the qualification line-up, also celebrated two straight-set victories – over fellow Brazilians Johann Ferdinand & Lucas Aguinelo and over Czechia’s Tomas Semerad & Jan Dumek – to advance to Pool B, in which they will take on Dutch standouts Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen on Thursday, and Austria’s Julian Horl & Alexander Horst and Sweden’s David Ahman & Jonatan Hellvig on Friday.

The men’s Pool C vacancy was taken by third-seeded Austrians Robin Seidl & Moritz Pristauz. In the qualifiers, they made it past two Brazilian duos: against Adelmo Goncalves & Mateus De Paula Dultra and against Gabriel Santiago & Felipe Alves. Seidl & Pristauz will open their main draw campaign on Thursday against Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers and Brazil’s Andre Stein & George Wanderley, and continue it on Friday against Poland’s Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak.

Thursday’s main draw action starts at 09:00 local time (12:00 UTC).