South retains title in second Latitude Zero exhibition
The southern team, made up of Ricardo Costa Santos, Bruno Schmidt and Maria Clara Saldago Rufino from Brazil, along with Tamsin Hinchley of Australia, defeated the northern team of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser from USA, with Maria Tsiartsiani and Vicky Arvaniti from Greece, by a score of 126-95.
Tsiartsiani and Arvaniti will be playing together later this month at the Bangsaen Thailand Open powered by PTT. Maria Clara will also compete alongside Leao Vanilda dos Santos.
Maria Clara is the only one of this year's participants who was also in the first Latitude Zero match in 2010. She and her sister Carol, whom she partnered with on the SWATCH World Tour until 2011, were on the all-Brazilian southern team with Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti.
The game's unique arrangement had the women facing off in a single 20-minute set, followed by the men in a single 25-minute set, and then 45 minutes with both genders on the sand together. Each side racked up as many points as they could during that time to reach their final scores.
The teams played over a net set up exactly along the equator, which runs through Brazil at Macapa. The game ended just a few minutes before 11:49 local time on September 24, the precise time that marked the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere and the start of autumn in the north.
This was one of the last chances fans will have to see Rogers and Dalhausser, one of the all-time most successful teams in beach volleyball. At 38, Rogers is cutting back on his international play and Dalhausser has announced that he will join Sean Rosenthal for the 2013 season.