Former team mates Agatha and Seixas on opposite sides of the net
Barbara Seixas (back) and her new partner Liliane Maestrini
The Hague, the Netherlands, June 12, 2013 – Barbara Seixas and Agatha Bednarczuk ended the season last year with a bronze medal in Thailand. This year the Brazilian girls both have different partners and in their first match Wednesday at the Transavia The Hague Grand Slam they were on opposite sites of the net. Agatha playing with Maria Antonelli and Seixas with Liliane Maestrini.
Antonelli and Agatha, who won silver at the Corrientes Grand Slam a few weeks ago, seemed to control the match, making few mistakes and winning the first set easily. But the odds changed and after strong comeback Seixas and Lili took the upper hand: 15-21 25-23 15-8.
A bit weird
It was not the first time Agatha and Seixas were on opposite sites, but it’s still a bit awkward. Seixas: “It’s a little bit weird because we were so close and united last year. But I think we are both open for this new change and we will do our best no matter with whom we play. We cheer for each other even when we play against each other. We are still close friends and still share our thoughts.”
Things have changed in Brazil’s beach volleyball world. From this year on the federation and coaches decide who plays with whom. Players who do not comply with the new rules are not part of the Brazilian selection anymore, like world champion Juliana Felisberta.
“We need to open our minds. It’s selection Brazil now and we will play with who ever the coaches and commissions want”, Agatha responded. All Agatha and Seixas know is that they will play with these partners until Gstaad. “After that we don’t know”, Seixas said. “It’s a new cycle after the Olympics and they are trying to mix the teams to see what’s best.”
Brazil against Brazil always stressful and emotional
Meanwhile the score is even now between the two teams after Antonelli and Agatha won their first encounter in Corrientes. Seixas: “It’s always very competitive against Brazil. It’s always stressful and emotional. We know each other very well. If you are not alert all the time, this happens”, Seixas said about their comeback after losing the first set.
Agatha and Antonelli, who won gold (2010), silver (2009) and bronze (2011) in previous events in The Hague with Talita Antunes, had four match points in the second set but could not seal the deal. “We played very well in the first set, but in the second Barbara’s team changed tactics.”
Seixas: “In the first they were very impressive and had a good serve. That really made a difference. In the second we tried to focus more and just play point by point. That helped us win the second set and the match.”