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2015-06-02 20:00:00 CET

#PorecMajor: Day 1

Highlights of the women's qualification at the first ever tournament of the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series: Poreč Major

Poreč, Croatia, June 2, 2015 - Amid the “Hustlin' And Bustlin'” here Tuesday to prepare for the opening “money” rounds of the US$800,000 Poreč Major, the inaugural SWATCH Beach Volleyball Major Series event, Carolina Horta of Brazil is quietly making a name for herself on the FIVB World Tour.

Playing with Liliane Maestrini, Carolina is playing her first season internationally and she and her partner posted two wins Tuesday over pairs from South Africa and Venezuela to lead seven other tandems into Wednesday’s opening Main Draw rounds.

Photocredit: Mike RanzPhotocredit: Mike Ranz

The 22-year old Carolina and the veteran Liliane are a “perfect 4-for-4” in qualifying for FIVB World Tour events this season. The only time Carolina and Liliane did not have to qualify for the Main Draw was three weeks ago in the Czech Republic where the Brazilians placed 25th.

With the Poreč Major being Carolina’s fifth event his season, she and Liliane have posted a 10-0 match mark in the preliminary rounds. Two of the victories have been country quota playoff wins the past two Mondays over Fernanda Alves and Taiana Lima, who captured a FIVB World Tour event last season in The Netherlands.

Carolina and Horta posted a “surprising” fifth last week at the Moscow Grand Slam, the first “big” event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour calendar.  The tandem’s three-set win over compatriots Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas was especially “surprising”. Why? Agatha and Seixas captured the gold medal in Prague where Carolina and Liliane posted their “worst” finish of the season.

With Carolina and Liliane maintaining perfection in the preliminary rounds, Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany and Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas of Canada added points to their standing on the FIVB World Tour. The Germans and Canadians rank 1-2 on the international circuit and each won two matches to advance to Wednesday’s schedule. Laboureur and Sude are now 3-0 in Poreč after winning a country quota match Monday.

Other qualifiers Tuesday were sixth-seeded Ana Gallay/Georgina Klug of Argentina, eighth-seeded Maria Prokopeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva of Russia, 10th-seeded Taru Lahti/Riikka Lehtonen of Finland, 12th-seeded Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland and 20th-seeded Tatyana Mashkova/Irina Tsimbalova of Kazakhstan.

Women’s pool play will highlight the opening Poreč Major schedule Wednesday with the elimination rounds being played Thursday and Friday to set the schedule for the semi- finals and medal matches on Saturday. The men’s qualifier is Wednesday followed by pool play and elimination matches leading to the “final four” contests Sunday.

The winning teams in both genders will share the $57,000 first-place prize along with gathering 800 “valuable” points that will help determine the field for the season-ending Swatch Major Series event in the United States at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Following this and next week’s Swatch Major Series event in Norway (June 9-14), the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for an event in the United States in St. Petersburg, Fla. (June 16-21). The June schedule ends with the start of the world championships in The Netherlands (June 26-July 5).

Courtesy of FIVB