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Kropp & Pavlik going after a repeat in Guatemala

Jenny Kropp (left) and Whitney Pavlik are the pre-tournament favourites at the Guatemala Beach Volleyball Tournament, the third leg of the 2013 NORCECA Circuit

Guatemala City, Guatemala, April 11, 2013 – Defending champions Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik of United States will be back at Campo Marte from April 19-21 to compete at the Guatemala Beach Volleyball Tournament, the third stop of the 2013 NORCECA Circuit.

The pre-tournament favorites in the women’s division, Kropp and Pavlik already won a silver medal at the first stage of this year’s competition in Cayman Islands when they lost in the finals to Canada’s Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas.

In last year’s edition of the Guatemala Tournament, the duo Kropp/Pavlik captured the title with a victory over the local pair of Susana Alvarado and Lourdes Ramirez. The tandem also claimed a gold medal in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic in 2011.

A second USA team registered to take part in the tournament is that of Brittany Hochevar and Emily Day who both –separately- have had plenty success throughout the years in the NORCECA Circuit.

Hochevar partnered with Summer Ross to grab the silver medal in Boca Chica this year, while Day won three golds –two of them last year- and one silver medal during her career competing in NORCECA events.

Canada will also have a couple of women’s teams competing in Guatemala, with pairs Kacey MacTavish and Caleigh Whitaker, and Victoria Altamore and Sophie Bukovec.

Hosts Guatemala is the other country represented by two pairs: local heroes Maria Orellana and Lourdes Ramírez, and Nadia Galan and Andrea Orellana.

In the men’s division, defending champion Roberto Rodriguez of Puerto Rico will play with partner Erik Haddock as he tries to remain as king of the beach in Guatemala.

Rodriguez/Haddock finished in a disappointing sixth place in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, after capturing the gold medal in Cayman Islands for second year in a row.

Cubans Karell Peña and Sergio Gonzalez, who claimed the title in Guatemala in 2010 after being runner-ups the previous year, are expected to be strong contenders. Peña also teamed up with Javier Jimenez to win the silver medal in 2011.

Last year, Peña/Gonzalez only entered to play in three events, but achieved outstanding results as they grabbed the gold medal in Chiapas, Mexico and Varadero, Cuba as well as a second place finish in Toluca, Mexico.

USA will be represented by the teams of Stafford Slick/John Mayer and Joseph Dykstra/Andrew McGuire.

Canada and hosts Guatemala also will compete with two teams. The Canadian pairs are Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow and Michael Plantinga/Cameron Wheelan while the Guatemalan duos are Andy Leonardo/Erick Garrido and Julio Recinos/Luis Garcia.

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