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Reigning U21 world champion Betschart just wants to play

Reigning champion Nina Betschart from Switzerland just wants to play her best
Umag, Croatia, June 20, 2013 – Reigning U21 world champion Nina Betschart and her partner Nicole Eiholzer just want to play their best at the FIVB U21 World Championships in Umag. Betschart can set a new record in Croatia becoming the first player to win three U21 titles in a row, but for the 17-year old this is not her main focus.

“It would be nice of course and I always want to win, but it is not my main goal”, Betschart said. “I just want us to play our best. If we do that, it could be that we end up number one here. But there are other good teams and if they win that is ok too.”

Back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012

Betschart won back-to-back U21 titles in 2011 with Joana Heidrich and in 2012 with Anouk Vergé-Dépré. Betschart’s and Eiholzer’s first match in Umag Thursday was an easy win over France’s Margaux Carrere and Ophelie Lusson: 21-17 21-11.

Although she is the defending champion Betschart was still nervous. “We always are before our first match.” Eiholzer: “It was not the best we can play, but it was a good start. It was really hot already, so we had to get used to that. But the sand is ok, fortunately it does not get hot like in Turkey.”

Still in school

Betschart and Eiholzer prepared for the U21 world championships in Switzerland and at a training camp in Turkey. The girls are both still in school and only play on the Swiss national tour and in junior events. Apart from the Bangsaen Open in Thailand last year, where Betschart played with Heidrich, they don’t have any World Tour experience yet.

“Nina has one year to go in school and I have two more years. We would have liked to play at the Gstaad Grand Slam this year, maybe we would have gotten a wildcard, but it is at the same time as the U19 world championships, so we will go there”, Eiholzer explained.

Betschart: “Maybe in one or two years we will make the step to the World Tour. I would like to take a break after I graduate next year. I do want to study but I want to play beach volleyball first.”

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