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Sander set for a fresh start in Itapema
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is set to launch its four-star event in Itapema from November 10 to 14. American star Taylor Sander believes this is a great chance for him to set the tone in his games for the coming months after a busy run since the Tokyo Games.
Spending nine years as one of the best options for United States’ volleyball has made Sander a big name in the sport. At the age of 29, the California-born star is ready to make a huge climb in Team USA’s rankings as he will debut on the sand with Taylor Crabb as his new partner.
‘Playing indoor is really tough on your body and living in Europe is also really tough’, Sander said. ‘Not only for me, but for my family. Being able to live in the U.S. and travel a little bit, the lifestyle is a lot better. So for me, after playing seven years, I’ve had enough and I want a new challenge. Didn’t want to be burnt out anymore’.
Sander only started playing at the beach when he played in the Tokyo Games. He then played in a tourney in Austin, Texas, which he won with Crabb, his brother Trevor, and Tri Bourne. That marked a new chapter in his career.
As soon as Jake Gibb stepped out of the sport, most fans knew that Sander was the next star in line to take the hype for the United States. With Phil Dalhausser ending his career after the Tokyo Games, it was inevitable and even Crabb knew it was coming as well.
‘I think we’re going to do great’, the defender said. ‘In my mind, he’s a top five volleyball player in the world. He hasn’t played beach in a while but he grew up doing it, so it won’t take him long to get back to where he was’.
Sander has seen a lot of success in his volleyball career. He won gold at the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Cup, and bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics and the 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championships. He also had silver and bronze at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, as well as countless titles at the club level.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores