New teams and wild cards set to impress at Fort Lauderdale Major

Lausanne, Switzerland, January 24, 2017 – The Swatch Major Series in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has put together an impressive cast of favourites, new partners and wild card entries, which will immediately swing the 2017 beach volleyball season into high gear when the event takes place from February 7 to 12.

The spectacle will include a formidable Brazilian crew led by Rio 2016 gold medallists and World Tour Finals champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, and the newly formed tandems of Pedro Solberg/Gustavo Carvalhaes, Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola and Ricardo Santos/Harley Marques, who have received a wild card for the main draw.

New partners Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner of the United States were also awarded a wild card and they will join compatriots Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser, John Hyden/Tri Bourne and Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb in pool play, who will all be keen to impress fans in Florida.

Eyes will also turn to the new women’s duos with as many as half of the 24 teams in the main draw made up of new partnerships. 

The two wild cards were awarded to Germany and the United States.

The German women’s teams are out to start the season strong when Karla Borger partners with Margareta 'Maggie' Kozuch, who is well known in indoor volleyball. 

Rio 2016 champion Kira Walkenhorst will continue to play while Laura Ludwig is recuperating from a shoulder injury and has joined forces with Julia Grossner for the Fort Lauderdale Major.

The United States will also field in new women's teams, including Lane Carico/Irene Pollock, Summer Ross/Brook Sweat and Lauren Fendrick/Sara Hughes.

Their North American neighbours Canada will field a Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson partnership, while Taylor Pischke will have a fresh start with Kristina May (previously known as Kristina Valjas).

Stefanie Schwaiger of Austria will team up with Katharina Schutzenhofer, while fans will also get a first glimpse of the Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa (Duda) partnership.

Fort Lauderdale Major - Main draw - Men's teams
Fort Lauderdale Major - Main draw - Women's teams

In each gender, the 24 teams teams in the main draw will be joined by the eight winning teams from the qualification process, which kicks off on the opening day of the tournament on Tuesday, February 7.


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