FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Long Beach Grand Slam | 18 - 23 August 2015

#WSOBV


Press release

Talita & Larissa SoCal Golden Girls


Larissa Franca (left) and Talita Antunes win their fourth FIVB World Tour gold medal in 2015 at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach

Long Beach, Calif., USA, August 23, 2015 - For the fourth-time this season and the eighth-time in the past 13 months, Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca are the “golden girls” at an FIVB World Tour event as the Brazilians topped the podium here Sunday by defeating Americans April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the finals of the US$800,000 ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball.

Seeded second in the 32-team Main Draw for the 11th women’s event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour calendar, Talita and Larissa posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) win in 54 minutes over the eighth-seeded Ross and Walsh Jennings, who entered the ASICS gold medal match as the event’s defending champion after defeating another Brazilian pair (Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas) for the 2014 title.

It was the first meeting between the two teams on the FIVB World Tour as Talita and Larissa formed their partnership last July with their second international start being on the TrueCar Court at Alamitos Beach where the Brazilians placed ninth.  Talita and Larissa ended the 2014 season by winning four-straight gold medals in Austria, Poland, Brazil and Argentina before topping podiums this season in Russia, Croatia and Switzerland.

The women’s finale was the first of two Brazil vs. United States gold medal matches at the third annual ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball as the men’s finale featured reigning FIVB world champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena.

Sunday is the 10th-time in FIVB World Tour history that both the women’s and men’s gold medal matches featured teams from the South and North American countries.  In addition to the gold medal and 800 team qualifying points for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the podium-topping teams also shared the $57,000 first-place prizes.

The women’s title match was also the 91st-time that Brazil and the United States had vied for a FIVB World Tour gold medal with Brazil adding their 41st victory in the head-to-head meetings.  The last meeting title meeting between the two countries was the 2014 Long Beach gold medal match when Ross and Walsh Jennings defeated Agatha and Barbara.

In posting their best finish this season, Ross and Walsh Jennings split the $42,000 first-place prize.  The Americans were playing in their first FIVB World Tour events since mid-July when Walsh Jennings dislocated her right shoulder for the second-time this season in the Gstaad Major in Switzerland.  Her first dislocation occurred at the Russian Grand Slam in Moscow at the end of May.

In the women’s bronze medal match, sixth-seeded Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) win in 47 minutes over seventh-seeded Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy of Australia.  Ludwig and Walkenhorst, who had captured the last FIVB World Tour stop last month in Yokohama, Japan, shared $32,000 for third-place while the Aussies split $24,000 for fourth-place.

The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball was the second of two events in the United States this season that are part of the qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  The first 2015 American Olympic qualifier was held in mid-June at St. Petersburg, Fla.  Prior to the St. Petersburg Grand Slam, the last Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifying event in the United States was staged in September 2003 at Carson, Calif.

Following the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, the final Grand Slam event on the 2015 FIVB World Tour will be played August 25-30 in Olsztyn, Poland.  The “test” event for the Rio 2016 Olympics will be staged on September 2-6 at exactly the same location for the Summer Games’ Beach Volleyball competition on Copacabana Beach.

Prior to returning to the United States for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (September 29-October 4), the international circuit will stage “open” tournaments in Russia (Sochi, September 8-13) and China (Xiamen, September 22-27).


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