Diving for Mikasa in a match against Canada Friday at the Huntington Beach Open is Barbara Seixas of Brazil.
Huntington Beach, USA, May 4, 2018 - A year ago at the start of their new partnership, Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves had to learn their way through a few tricky bumps in the road.
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In 2018, the Brazilians are still learning a few things about their team. The difference now is they are adding victories at a rapid rate.
Barbara and Fernanda extended their win streak to nine matches with two more wins on Friday in the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Huntington Beach Open presented by the AVP. That win streak includes a six-match run on their way to capturing gold in the Fort Lauderdale Major in March.
“Winning always helps confidence but Fernanda and I always want to reach our maximum as a team, and that doesn’t mean always winning,” said Barbara, who captured the Rio 2016 Olympics silver medal with Agatha Bednarczuk. “It’s about you giving your best and doing what you are training for. Normally this comes with victory so we are aiming for that. Thinking of the finals in this tournament is a little bit of hush-hush because we want to focus on each game and we are enjoying this ride. Each game is important to us.”
For the season, the pair has won 12 of 13 matches, with the only defeat coming at the hands of the USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman in the season-opening FIVB Dela Beach Open in the Netherlands.
Their second victory on Friday came over No. 13 seeds Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson of Canada, 2-0 (21-19, 29-27), in which they made every crucial play they needed at the right time.
“Wow,” Barbara said. “It gives us a lot of confidence, especially because Fernanda did an excellent job this game. She helped me out all the way through and she was a monster on the block. It’s always a tough match, we know that because this year we have played the Canadians already two times. We knew we had to be alert and focused and it worked.”
A year ago, Barbara and Fernanda won one of their nine events (Xiamen, China) but that was their only time on the podium. Their final event on the FIVB World Tour was finished by the FIVB World Championships in Vienna.
But they honed their game during the Brazilian domestic season and the results are beginning to show.
“You never reach perfection, especially when you’re playing on a high level,” Barbara said. You always have something to learn and improve. Me and Fernanda are a team in process. We are getting the fundamentals on our team so we can grow each time with consistency. That’s what we’re aiming for and we still have a lot to work on, but I’m really happy with her and us, how we look at our job, how she’s developing and becoming bigger and bigger. That makes me really happy.