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Brazilian girls ease into U19 final to face Russia

Brazil's Taina Silva Bigi and Eduarda Santos Lisboa eased into the final
Porto, Portugal, July 14, 2013 – Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Taina Silva Bigi danced their way into their first FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championship final on Sunday. The Brazilian girls entertained the audience in the beach stadium in Porto with a swinging performance to defeat USA’s surprise team Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes 2-0 (21-18 21-17) in the semifinal.

In the final Brazil face Anna Gorbunova and Nadezda Makroguzova from Russia who had a great comeback against Germany’s Sarah Schneider and Lara Schreiber: 2-1 (17-21 22-20 15-12).

Surprise factor

Struggling to overcome the solid block of the South American team, USA based their strategy on the surprise factor, with Claes choosing to attack on the second touch a lot.

This earned the US team, who knocked out Polish U21 champions Kociolek and Gruszscynska and the Swiss title favourites Betschart and Eiholzer on Saturday, several points the US team, but not enough.

Fourteen-year old Eduarda, who already won silver at the U23 World Championships this year, said earlier this week they were here to win the gold. They played confident throughout the event and entered the final with straight wins only.

“We're playing well”, 17-year old Taina said. “We agreed to do our best and that is what we did.”

“If we get the gold this will be an unforgettable experience", Eduarda said. "We are playing against the Russian team, but whoever our opponent in the final is, it would surely be a very strong team. Therefore, we had no preference for either team.”

Narrow escape for Russia

In the other semifinal Gorbunova (17) and Makroguzova (16) had a narrow escape at the end of the second set against Germany.

Schneider and Schreiber could have easily closed the deal with two match points at 20-18, but forgot to attack and instead just safely dinked the ball over the net. Russia grabbed the opportunity and claimed the set at 21-20.

In the tiebreak Gorbunova and Makroguzova started with a the lead straight away and took it all the way to 15-12.

“This is surreal”, Makroguzova said. “At the end of the second set we just kept going and tried to refocus and it worked.”

Gorbunova missed out on the final last year, winning bronze with Ksenia Dabizha. With Makroguzova she finished 5th at the U21 this year.

It will be the first time teams from Brazil and Russia meet in a U19 World Championship final. Brazil has made it to the final three times before, winning two, but the last one dates back to 2005. Russia won two silver medals in 2009 and 2010.

FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships Tournament Page
FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships Girls’ Results
FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships Boys’ Results
FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships Twitter Account
FIVB Beach Volleyball Facebook Account

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