Taiana (left) and Carol Horta will be in tandem throughout 2018
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 2, 2018 – Taiana Lima and Carol Horta will be staying together longer than expected, with the pair deciding to prolong their partnership for at least a year on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, starting with the 4-Star in Xiamen, which runs from April 18-22.
Taiana and Carol teamed up for the 5-Star Fort Lauderdale Major in March, and after they began the season opening tournament in the country quota rounds they won eight out of 10 matches to finish with the silver medals.
The initial plan was for Carol to fill in for Taiana’s usual partner Elize Maia who was injured at the time, but such was their performance that they decided to carry on together.
“We didn’t plan for that, it just happened,” Taiana told beachmajorseries.com
. “Things weren’t working between Elize and I, we tried to fix it, but it wasn’t enough.
“The plan was to play with Carol only in Fort Lauderdale, but we did so well and got enough points to start the next tournament in the main draw, so we decided to give it a shot.”
Taiana is very much the senior partner. At 33 she is eight years old than the 25-year-old Carol, and has 13 seasons of World Tour experience to her name. She was 2013 World Tour champion and has finished on the podium 16 times.
Nonetheless there are high hopes that Carol Horta will be the next to add her name to the long list of Brazilian beach volleyball superstars, starting with a third World Tour medal in Xiamen.
“She showed a great potential and a huge willingness to listen in Fort Lauderdale,” Taiana said. “I think this mix will be very beneficial for our team.
“Everything has happened so fast and we are still setting our objectives, but I would say that our first goal is to take advantage of the good momentum we have now.”
Summer Ross also finished on the Fort Lauderdale podium, having won bronze alongside Brooke Sweat. Come Xiamen though she will be making her debut in pairing with Sara Hughes, and the pair have already begun their preparations in California, volleymag reports
Ross and Hughes have played one tournament together, the FIVB 2012 U21 World Championships, where they finished fourth.
Both players enjoyed success at age-grade level. Ross won U19 and U21 gold in 2010, while Hughes won U21 bronze in 2014.
They are one of seven USA teams that have been named in the tournament’s entry list, along with April Ross and Alexandra Klineman, who won the year opening 4-Star Dela Beach Open in The Hague.
Also in the list is triple Olympic champion Kerri Walsh-Jennings, who makes her return from injury in tandem with Nicole Branagh.