2018-04-03 15:33:00 CET
The formations of the US women’s teams look a lot different after the Fort Lauderdale Major – but don’t worry, we got you covered
The last month has brought a true revolution to the women’s beach volleyball landscape in the United States. Several partnership changes, one happening right the other, resulted in a handful of new teams to be seen in action for the first time later this month, when the World Tour resumes in Xiamen, China.
From the six duos that competed in the Fort Lauderdale Major, a month ago, only one remains untouched after the shakeup, the one of April Ross and Alix Klineman, who started their partnership last November.
It’s a lot to process and it might be challenging to keep track of all these new formations, but don’t worry, we got you covered!
Here is how the new teams look:
Summer Ross/Sara Hughes
Only a few days after winning the bronze medal in Fort Lauderdale, Summer Ross decided to leave Brooke Sweat to join forces with Sara Hughes, who ended her five-year partnership with Kelly Claes. It was the first domino to fall. Summer, 25, and Sara, 23, have played together once before, in the 2012 Under-21 World Championships, in Halifax, Canada, where they finished fourth.
708 Likes, 5 Comments - Summer Ross (@summernoelross) on Instagram: "Training has been going good with these guys! 👨👨👧👧👬"
Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar
After splitting with Hughes, Kelly Claes was in the market looking for a defender and she arguably took the most experienced option available in 36-year-old Brittany Hochevar, a World Tour veteran of 11 seasons. Hochevar’s last partnership with Emily Day had good results in the American AVP, but failed to replicate the same results internationally and that’s exactly what she’ll try to accomplish with the 22-year-old Claes.
Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat
Like Claes, Brooke Sweat was also left without a partner after Summer and Sara joined forces. The 32-year-old defender went the safe route and rejoined her former Rio 2016 Olympic partner Lauren Fendrick, who was temporarily playing with Nicole Branagh. Fendrick, 36, and Sweat, formed a team from 2014 to 2016, sharing the court in 31 World Tour events in the period. They decided to revive their partnership and try another Olympic run together.
Emily Day/Betsi Flint
With Hochevar teaming up with Claes, Emily Day had to find a new defender to play with and her option was for Betsi Flint. The 25-year-old had spent her entire professional career with Kelley Larsen, with whom she won a one and a two-star World Tour tournaments in 2017. She will be the 13th partner of the 30-year-old blocker.
Kerri Walsh Jennings/Nicole Branagh
Okay, this is not actually a new team, but we thought it was worth mentioning them since it has been a while since they last played together. Kerri and Nicole joined forces last summer, but they played in only three tournaments before Walsh Jennings dislocated her right shoulder, an injury that kept the three-time Olympic champion sidelined until this month. In the meantime, Branagh played with Lauren Fendrick. The pair have entered themselves for the Xiaman tournament next month.
Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman
The four-year partnership of Kelley Larsen and Betsi Flit ended after the duo failed to advance from the qualification tournament in Fort Lauderdale. Larsen, 25, is now paired with 29-year-old defender Emily Stockman, who had Kim Di Cello as her partner in the 2017 season with the team winning the one-star World Tour event in Malaysia.
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