2018 Season – The space is wide open after top teams withdrawing
The upcoming 2018 season will feature new faces and new champions on the women’s side. This in not a wild guess but rather a fact. After Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst have announced to skip the 2018 season, it is now Larissa and Talita from Brazil who declare to take a break from beach volleyball.
Just as Laura Ludwig, Talita is pregnant and expecting a baby this summer. Talita in an interview:
“We’re at an age when we have to make that decision, especially in a post-Olympic period.”
Last season, Larissa/Talita won the bronze medal at the FIVB World Championships in Vienna and at the World Tour Finals in Hamburg. Since Larissa is also considering motherhood, both are taking time off from beach volleyball to consider their future. The question regarding the continuation of their partnership is currently completely open, not even the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo seem to be a clear goal. Both of them want to reconsider their partnership after this summer.
The withdrawal of last season’s most successful teams on FIVB level opens up the space for others. April Ross and Alix Klineman just won the FIVB 4-star event at The Hague and will have the opportunity to fill up the gap that the Germans and Brazilians are leaving. Even young teams such as Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes (USA) might be able to enter the stage. Olympic Champion and FIVB commentator Dain Blanton:
“It will be very interesting since everything is wide open. Sara and Kelly are young but they already won the AVP tournament in Chicago, you’ve got to look out for them.”
Check out the 2018 beach volleyball world calendar for the upcoming season’s events.