May 31, 2023
The Itapema Challenge offers a difficult, potentially highly rewarding event

Itapema, Brazil, just isn’t a simple place to succeed in. The primary flight will get you both to Dallas or Houston, or perhaps to Chicago, particularly when you’re going too far out of the way in which. This primary cruise throughout the US precedes the longest journey in Sao Paulo, the place passengers might be met with a connecting switch starting from two and a half hours to 10 hours. Then, a fast flight to Navegantes and some minutes’ taxi to Itapema, which is as vital to Brazil as 40 Myrtle Seaside is to America: quiet, touristy, good meals on the boardwalk.

It is an apt metaphor for what this Olympic journey is like for vacationers: It is lengthy, costly, and completely price it if every thing goes as deliberate.

Volleyball World explains why there are 11 American groups—5 males, six girls—within the Itapema Problem, and greater than half of them will begin in Thursday’s qualifiers. Some, like Zana Muno, are so hungry for worldwide factors that she needs to go regardless of her companion Kerri Walsh Jennings pulling out with a last-minute harm, so she joins Allie Wheeler with just some days’ discover.

“I am so sorry we cannot be going to courtroom with Kerri for the following two weeks, however we’re versatile,” Muno wrote on her social media account. “I am grateful to Allie Wheeler for taking the chance for us and agreeing to play with me and touring to Brazil on such quick discover!”

In truth, on quick or lengthy discover, qualifiers Volleyball World Professional Beach Tour not for cowards. Muno and Wheeler are ranked twenty second within the Itapema Problem, the bottom amongst Individuals on the time of this writing. Savvy Simo and Toni Rodriguez are 18th, with silver medalists on the La Paz Problem, whereas Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn are third.

Miles Partain celebrates victory in Dubai Challenger/Volleyball World picture

4 American males will begin within the qualifiers, highlighted by the 2023 seashore debut of Miles Partain and Andy Benesh, who participated in three Seaside Professional Tour occasions in 2022 and received gold in Dubai in October. Three locations under them are Chase Budinger and Miles Evans, who performed of their first worldwide look collectively after a promising debut in Miami, the place they completed second behind Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander.

Taylor Crabb - Taylor Sander
Taylor Crabb, left, and Taylor Sander celebrating 2022 victory/Rick Atwood picture

The Taylors, as they’re recognized, are seven rows decrease than Budinger and Evans. Six locations under them are Evan Cory and Logan Webber, who hit the tough street this season and are taking part in of their third Seaside Professional Tour occasion in 2023.

Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk, in addition to Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner await within the US major draw, whereas girls boast top-ranking Julia Scoles and Betsi Flint, third-place Sarah Sponcil and Terese Cannon, and fourteenth-place Hailey Harward. and Kelley Kolinske.

After a profitable begin to the season for Kelly Cheng and Sarah Hughes and Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth, proper now the Challenges do not make a lot sense to play in terms of entry factors.

The entry level system relies on the highest three of your earlier 4 occasions. Cheng and Hughes are certain to start out within the Elite 16s major attracts – the place the factors are very excessive – and Nuss and Kloth are on the high of the principle attracts relying on which workforce is taking part in and whether or not a wild card is awarded. That is why you may see their identify in Elite 16s like Uberlandia later this month till they develop into vital – if actually vital – for them to play Challenges once more.

All qualifying matches might be broadcast at: Volleyball Television, and you’ll observe the outcomes. Volleyball World.

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