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Brazil vs. United States for gold medal in London

Brazil's Angela Vieira, left, moves to receive the Mikasa from Liliane Maestrini during their semifinal win Sunday at the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International over compatriots Vivian Cunha/Taiana Limaa in two sets.

London, Great Britain, August 14, 2011 – In a common occurrence on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, Brazil and the United States will be meeting in the gold medal match. This afternoon, Brazil’s Liliane Maestrini/Angela Vieira will meet USA’s world No. 4 Jennifer Kessy/April Ross in the gold medal match at the 2011 Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International, a women’s Olympic test held at the iconic Horse Guards Parade in the historic heart of central London that concluded its week-long run Sunday.

Part of the London Prepares series of test events for several Olympic sports, this event is being presented by the London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) in collaboration with the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the British Volleyball Federation, the Visa FIVB Beach Volleyball International Olympic test event carries with it a special $10,000 total purse.

The venue for this event featured a 1,500-seat centre court, but for the London 2012 Olympics next August, a massive 15,000-seat stadium will be built on the historic site. The event was part of the London Prepares series that features test events for several Olympic sports.

In the gold medal match pairing, USA’s Kessy/Ross have a 6-0 record in this event while Brazil’s Maestrini/Vieiera have won five straight matches after losing their opening pool play match on Tuesday to Mexico’s Bibiana Candelas/Mayra Garcia in three sets. On this year’s FIVB Swatch World Tour, the Americans have a 2-0 record over the Brazilians.

Meeting in the bronze medal match prior to the gold medal finale will be Brazil’s world No. 26 Vivian Cunha/Taiana Lima and Great Britain’s Lucy Boulton/Denise Johns. Here in London this week, Cunha/Lima are 5-1 while Great Britain’s Boulton/Johns have a 4-2 record. Brazil’s Cunha/Lima have a 3-0 record against Great Britain’s Boulton/Johns on the FIVB Swatch World Tour.

Sunday’s final day began with the semifinals where the all-Brazilian match saw Maestrini/Vieira defeat Cunha/Lima, 22-20, 21-16 in 42 minutes. The two teams have a 2-2 record against each other on this year’s FIVB Swatch World Tour.

In the tight first set between these teams who face each other so often on the Brazilian national tour, was tied three times early before Cunha/Lima actually took three points leads at 10-7, 11-8 and 15-12 before Maestrini/Vieira came back to tie the match at 16-16. From there Cunha/Lima went back up 19-17 but once again Maestrini/Vieira came back to tie it at 19-19, saved one set point while scoring the last three points to win the set. In the deciding second set, Maestrini/Vieira started strong maintaining a 3 or four point lead until Cunha/Vieira came back to tie the set twice at 13-13 and 14-14 before the winning duo pulled away to four and then five point advantages to earn the set and win the match.

For the match, Brazil’s Viera had one ace and 11 digs while Maestrini also had one ace, six blocks and two digs.  For the other Brazilian team, Cunha had one ace and five digs while Lima came up with 11 digs.

Following her team’s semifinal win, Maestrini said, “I don’t know what we’re feeling now, I’m really happy because this match is one we though could go away from us. I had so much pain in my shoulder so being in the final is wonderful, it’s more than we expected.”

In the second semifinal, USA’s Kessy/Ross came out of the gate fast to dominate the first set, Great Britain’s Boulton/Johns came back strong to win the second set and the Americans closed out the match with a powerful tiebreaker third set to win the match. USA’s Kessy/Ross eventually won the 49-minute match, 21-13, 17-21 and 15-10. While this was the first meeting between the two teams this year, USA’s Kessy/Ross won all three matches against Great Britain’s Boulton/Johns in two sets during the 2010 FIVB Swatch World Tour. USA’s Kessy/Ross had won 11 straight sets in this event prior to Great Britain’s Boulton/Johns winning the second set in this semifinal.

In the first set, USA’s Kessy/Ross took control after the score was last tied at 3-3 while in the much closer second set, Great Britain’s Boulton/Johns scored first holding a two-point margin until the first tie of the set at 5-5. The British duo then pulled back ahead though Kessy/Ross did narrow the gap at 16-18 before Boulton/Johns score the final three tallies of the set.

In the deciding tiebreaker, USA’s Kessy/Ross scored first and the set was tied at 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 and 6-6 before the Americans began pulling away, building up to their final margin of five at 13-8.

In the second semifinal, USA’s Kessy had one block and eight digs while Ross had three aces and five digs. For Great Britain, Boulton had one ace, one block and five digs while Johns was credited with one ace and five digs.

Kessy said after her team’s come-from-behind winning effort, “Great Britain played well, but I think we just played a little bit better and a couple of plays went our way. I was pissed after the second set because I wasn’t playing well, I wasn’t serving well. April was doing everything to set me up but I wasn’t putting the ball where they weren’t.”

For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, please visit or visit the event website at

  Press Contact - FIVB Press Director Richard Baker,
Email:     Mobile. + 41 79 603 3926 or +44 7714 537 400


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