FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Ft. Lauderdale Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals | 29 September - 4 October 2015


Press release

Rematches galore in Fort Lauderdale

Brazilian Barbara Seixas served notice that she and her partner Agatha Bednarczuk will be out to validate their 2015 FIVB World Championships Saturday against Germany's Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., October 2, 2015 - So many rematches emerged from the women’s quarterfinals of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals on Friday it was hard to keep track.

Canada’s Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan will get another shot at Brazilians Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca, and Brazilians Barbara Seixas and Agatha Bednarczuk will have another go-round with Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany.

Two more rematches, figuratively, came through. April Ross and Lauren Fendrick, who suffered a 21-15, 21-16 loss to Bansley and Pavan, will now re-match up with the regular partners, who have been sidelined by shoulder surgery.

But the final four is set in the chase to become the first team in an international event to claim a $100,000 winner’s prize.

“It’s awesome. It’s super exciting,” Bansley said. “It’s the first time that they’ve had an event like this. It’s the best players on the tour, so it’s really special to be in the final four.”

“It’s amazing,” Barbara said. “After a long year that we’ve had and also the tension and pressure to get a spot for the Olympics, to compete not only with the good teams but with the Brazilian teams also, has been a challenge.”

They had a chance to advance to the semifinals earlier Friday, but they dropped a 21-23, 21-17, 17-15 match to Talita and Larissa, who drew an automatic berth into the semifinals by winning Pool B.

“That was a really tough one, it was so close, so we were obviously disappointed,” Pavan said. “We really wanted to finish first in our pool, but we want to be on the podium for this tournament so we had to forget about that right away.”

The third-seeded Canadians needed only 41 to top Fendrick and Ross.

“It’s always tough to play when you’re in a stadium of the home country and they’re cheering, it’s really loud,” Bansley said. “For me, I take that energy and it’s a great atmosphere and it builds me up. It’s always fun to play on center court, especially in these events.”

Fendrick and Ross got together in the last two months after their partners, Brooke Sweat and Kerri Walsh Jennings, respectively, had to undergo surgical procedures on their right shoulders.

But this was the last event they will play in together, and will again becaome rivals in their chase for a spot in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“We definitely had our shining moments and I think we’re good enough athletes, good enough volleyball players, to perform at a consistent level every time out so yeah, a little bit frustrating,” Fendrick said. “Definitely I’m going to take some of the intensity that (Ross) brings to matches, plus her expectations – she expects to win the entire tournament, which Brooke and I have as well.”

Fendrick and Sweat plan to reunite for the NORCECA Continental Cup event in November in order to try to compile for points for Olympic qualification.

Ross and Walsh Jennings likely won’t be able to get back into training until after December.

“It doesn’t matter who you play with, you’re always trying to do the best you can,” Ross said. “Both of us played really great at times. I for sure let down at times. I do feel like every time I step on the court behind a good blocker, I get a little bit better at defense so I’ll take that away.”

Ludwig and Walkenhorst, the fifth seeds, scored a 21-17, 21-19 win to send Barbara and Agatha into a quarterfinal matchup with Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands.

The Brazilians fought back from a 20-17 deficit in the second game to score a 21-13, 26-24 victory.

“They are a really good team,” Barbara said of the Dutch. “You can never make so many mistakes against them because they really know how to play. Marleen has an excellent service and Meppelink has a really aggressive block over there. We just got lucky and got the opportunities at the right time.”

Down 20-17, Barbara and Agatha switched their tactics from serving Van Iersel to Meppelink. It caught the Dutch off guard.

“We had trouble passing in the beginning and at the end they made a good switch, they had been serving Marleen the whole game and at the end me,” Meppelink said. “Then I made a nothing in a couple sideouts, I’m bummed about that. But we gave a good fight. I think we gave everything at the end. They’re the world champion and they earned that title.”

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