FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

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

#SwatchWTFinalsUSA


Press release

Brazil vs. Germany for women’s US$100,000 first-place prize Sunday


Two-time German Olympian Laura Ludwig celebrates a semi-final win over Brazil Saturday at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., October 3, 2015 - Teams from Brazil and Germany will compete for the richest first-place purse in the history of international Beach Volleyball as South Americans Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca and Europeans Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst won semi-final matches here Saturday at the US$500,000 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals by defeated tandems from Canada and Brazil, respectively.

With $100,000 for the winner and $60,000 for the runner-up, Sunday’s women’s finale will be played as part of a four-match schedule on the 4,000-seat stadium court at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park.  The day’s program starts at 11 a.m. with the women’s bronze medal match followed by the men’s third-place contest.

Head-to-Head meetings

Sunday’s meeting will be the third meeting between the two gold medal finalists with Ludwig and Walkenhorst leading the series 2-0.  The Germans posted a three-set win at the United States Grand Slam in St. Petersburg (Florida) and a two-set quarter-final victory at the Japanese Grand Slam in Yokohama.

Semi-final winners

The second-seeded Talita and Larissa, who have won six FIVB World Tour gold medals this season and 10 overall since forming their partnership in July 14, was the first Brazilian pair to advance to the finals with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-12) in 37 minutes over third-seeded Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan of Canada.

The fifth-seeded Ludwig and Walkenhorst advanced to their fifth FIVB World Tour gold medal match by out-lasting newly-crowned FIVB world champions and fourth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil 2-1 (21-15, 20-22, 15-13) in a 55-minute semi-final match.

Brazil vs. Canada semi-finals

It was the sixth meeting between the two teams with Talita and Larissa winning the last five matches after losing to the Canadians in May at the Russian Grand Slam in Moscow.  Saturday’s match was also the second SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals meeting between the two teams with Talita and Larissa also defeating Bansley and Pavan 2-1 (21-23, 21-17, 17-15) in a 55-minute Pool B contest.

“We played much better today than yesterday,” said the 33-year old Talita, who is a perfect “10-for-10” with Larissa in FIVB World Tour gold medal matches.  “We expected it would be a hard match. All of the teams here are really good.”

Despite the setback, the 28-year old Bansley said her team came to south Florida “to get on the podium.  We will focus on that.  That was a tough match.”  The 29-year old Pavan, who also ranks as one of the world top indoor blockers, said “we let them do whatever they wanted.  We still have a chance to earn a medal.  We will learn from this.”

Germany vs. Brazil semi-finals

In a rematch from Pool A at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals, Ludwig and Walkenhorst posted their third-straight win over Agatha and Barbara.  To win their group Friday with a 4-0 record, Ludwig and Walkenhorst defeated their Brazilian rivals 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) in 39 minutes.

“We are so happy,” said the 29-year old Ludwig.  “That was a really hard match.  We know how good they are.  After playing them yesterday, we knew they would change their strategy, so we had to focus and make adjustments.  Now we need to relax and fight again tomorrow."

For the 24-year old Walkenhorst, the youngest women in the field, it was the German’s competitive spirit.  “We fought for every ball 100%.  We did not let one ball go.  They say that you never beat the same team twice in a tournament, and we did it!  I was really nervous.  It went back-and-forth the entire time.”

Despite losing, the 32-year old Agatha said she “sometimes your best is not enough!”  The 28-year old Barbara said “we played better than yesterday.  They played hard, especially their defense.  Right now the adrenaline is high and we keep thinking about what we could have done better.  So we need to rest and prepare for tomorrow."

Gold Medal Facts

Sunday’s final will be the 15th gold medal meeting between Brazil and Germany since the start of the women’s FIVB World Tour in 1992.  The Brazilian women have won 12 times, but Ludwig and Walkenhorst won the last title meeting with the Brazilians by defeating Agatha and Barbara in the Japanese Grand Slam gold medal match at the end of July in Yokohama.

2015 World Tour Finals Champions

The SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals concludes Sunday with the medal matches for both men and women.  In addition to sharing the $100,000 first-place purses, the men’s and women’s gold medal winners will be crowned the World Tour Finals Champions.  By finishing as the top team on the FIVB World Tour points list, Agatha and Barbara have been named the international circuit/s “team-of-the-year”.


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