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Itapema four-star to mark many ends, many promising new beginnings

Chase Budinger, reacting to his block of Taylor Crabb throughout the 2021 AVP Chicago, is enjoying in Brazil with Troy Fieidl/Mark Rigney picture

ITAPEMA, Brazil — It’s the finish. It’s the starting.

This week’s four-star FIVB in Itapema, Brazil, is the top of the FIVB’s star system, which made its debut after the Rio Olympics and is being changed by the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour in 2022. It’s the finish of a weird quad that featured a 12 months off on account of a pandemic, a postponed Olympic Video games, and venues devoid of followers and, in some instances, enjoyable.

It’s the finish of many partnerships, together with that of Brazilians Agatha and Duda, who made one of the crucial spectacular runs these previous 4 years, successful practically as many medals throughout the Tokyo quad as April Ross and Alix Klineman and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavanmixed.

And but, because it goes with all ends, Itapema additionally marks quite a few promising beginnings.

It’s the much-anticipated starting of Taylor Sander’s seashore profession. The 2-time Olympian is making his swap to the seashore, debuting with Taylor Crabb in Itapema, simply days after the start of his second baby, Isla.

New beginnings, certainly.

It is usually the debut of myriad new partnerships on each side. Brazilians Evandro and Alvaro, early medal favorites for the Paris Olympics, are enjoying their first FIVB collectively, after successful a silver in final week’s Banco de Brazil cease. Alison and Guto, too, can be pairing up for the primary time on the World Tour.

The Brazilian girls have likewise turned their federation inside out. Whereas it’s the closing event for Agatha and Duda — Agatha can be transferring ahead with Olympian Ana Patricia Silva — it’s the first for Ana Patricia’s former companion, Rebecca Cavalcanti, and Talita Antunes. It is usually the primary for Fernanda Alves and Maria Antonelli, who had her new child in tow on Tuesday afternoon.

Brazil’s Olympians aren’t the one ones switching. Italians Daniele Lupo and Alex Ranghieri, with 4 Olympics between them, are enjoying of their first occasion collectively. Japan’s Miki Ishii, longtime companion of Megumi Murakami, is now with Sayaka Mizoe.

It’s the first computerized important draw right into a four-star for Terese Cannon, who’s enjoying with Sara Hughes, a former teammate at USC, and starting to search out her footing as knowledgeable. It’s the first 4 star in any respect for younger Tim Brewster — my companion — and Troy Field, who’s enjoying with Chase Budinger. Megan Kraft, enjoying with Kim Hildreth after a profitable country-quota victory, can be climbing the ladder, enjoying hooky out of USC practices to play in her first four-star.

Some issues finish. Many others start.

The qualifier began on Wednesday at 9 a.m. native time — 7 a.m. Japanese, 4 a.m. Pacific — and is scheduled to be streamed on the Volleyball World YouTube Channel.

Competing for america on Wednesday are Area and Budinger, Brewster and me, and Hildreth and Kraft. Sander and Crabb are instantly into the primary draw, as are Chaim Schalk and Theo Brunner, Emily Day and Betsi Flint, Hughes and Cannon, and Corinne Quiggle and Sarah Schermerhorn.

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