Katrin Holtwick shows her delight to partner Ilka Semmler after winning bronze
Campinas, Brazil, June 1, 2013 - Germany's Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler recovered from losing a close semi-final against USA on Friday by claiming the bronze medal with a 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-10) win against Australia's Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy on the penultimate day of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Final.
The centre court in Campinas was again bathed in Brazilian sunshine for women's finals day and it was the Australian pair that made the stronger start. Clancy in particular posed Germany all sorts of problems at the net and her point scoring was the principal reason the seventh seeds took the first set 21-16.
"We work very hard on a strong team game that brings a lot of physicality so we can make the best of our size, and a lot of aggression to go for the hard angles of the court," said Bawden. "We executed that really well in the first set, and showed that our game, when it's at its best, is unstoppable."
Holtwick-Semmler regrouped and changed tactics in the second set, dropping off the net more to defend Clancy's attacks and try to keep the ball in play. The strategy worked and Germany won the set 21-19 to level the match at 1-1 and send it into a tie-break.
The German pair got ahead in the tie-break and maintained their lead to take the set 15-10 and earn their second bronze medal of the season, after also coming third at the Fuzhou Open, China in April, as well as $22,500 in prize money.
"It was a really tough, but a really good game," said Semmler. "We managed to resolve our [first-set] problems in the second, we improved our return of the ball, defence and blocking. We entered the third set knowing that we needed to give all we could and it worked."
Afterwards, Australia's Bawden acknowledged Germany's tactical switch at the end of the first set was a crucial change. "They had to [switch]," she said. "After the first set they couldn't defend the court, there was too much of the court available for Taliqua to hit into. So, they made some changes, we made a few more mistakes and that's all it takes when you're playing high-level comeptition."