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Juliana makes mark before World Tour return

Juliana (right) got back to winning ways with Maria Antonelli on the Brazilian Tour
Maceio, Brazil, March 24, 2014 – Seven-time FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour winner Juliana Felisberta laid down an early marker ahead of her return to the World Tour in 2014. 

Juliana won the last of her World Tour titles in 2012 and the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships with former partner Larissa Franca, but didn’t feature in 2013. 

At the Marceio Leg of the Banco do Brasil Beach Volleyball Tour she and Maria Antonelli fought back from losing the first set to beat Tour leaders Barbara Seixas and Agatha Bednarczuk 2-1 (17-21, 21-13, 15-9).

“Going back to the World Tour is like going home for me,” Juliana said. “It is where the best players play and what defines people as beach volleyball players. It is great to win a competition like this, it means a lot. I always want to do well and now I’m very motivated.”

“Our rapport on the court is developing slowly, but here we are with our first title today,” Maria Antonelli said. “The development of our game is what is most important and we have to remember that we have only played 13 matches together.”

Current World Tour champions Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima claimed the bronze medal with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-10) win over Vivian Cunha and Josi Alves.

Repeat success

In the men’s final Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt repeated their success from the South American Games semifinals by beating against Emanuel Rego and Pedro Salgado, 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-10).

“These were two very strong teams,” Alison said. “In the first two sets they were better and we started slowly, but overcame the heat in the end. Our coach said that we would grow at the right time and that is what is happening.”

Bruno de Paula and Hevaldo Moreira beat defending Tour champions Ricardo Santos and Marcio Araujo 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) to win bronze and complete the podium places.

The 2013-14 Brazilian Tour will draw to a finish with the final leg, which takes place at Armacao Beach in Salvador from April 9-13. 

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