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Double the fun when Brazil meets Germany as Stare Jablonki Grand Slam heads to a climax

Larissa Franca has her eyes fixed on a second gold medal of 2014
August 22, 2014 – There is the possibility of an all-Brazilian or an all-German women’s final at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam on Saturday after two sides from each country advanced to the semifinals on Friday. 

First off Klagenfurt Grand Slam gold medallists Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes take on Gstaad Grand Slam winners Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler aiming to complete a run from the qualifying rounds to the gold medal match. 

Both teams won this season's gold medals against their compatriots; Larissa and Talita defeated Juliana Felisberta and Maria Antonelli in Klagenfurt, while Holtwick and Semmler beat Karla Borger and Britta Buthe to claim glory in the Swiss Alps.
Following that clash Hague Grand Slam winners Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves take on Julia Sude and Laura Ludwig, who was one half of the Shanghai Grand Slam winning combination.

In the men’s tournament Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek and multi-age group winning pair Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak are the last teams remaining from the host nation. They will need to record four more wins to give Poland their first domestic winners. 

Gstaad gold medallists eyeing more glory

Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler have their eyes set on another set of gold medals after they reached the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam semifinals on Friday. 

The German duo beat Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) to set up a clash against another Brazilian side, Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes. Larissa and Talita defeated Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez, 2-0 (23-21, 21-16). 

The other semifinal is also between a Brazilian and German team; Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves take on Laura Ludwig and Julia Sude. 

“We had a game against them in Long Beach and it was almost the other way around,” Holtwick said. “We really didn’t want to play like we did in Long Beach so we were on fire for this game. So it is great, another semifinal.”

Patterson and Gibb rediscovering previous best

Casey Patterson and Jacob Gibb ensured that they made it through to the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam second elimination round when they defeated FIVB Beach Volleyball world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen on Friday.

The US duo beat the Dutch pair 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) in the venue where Brouwer and Meeuwsen were crowned world champions just over a year ago. 

“This is the place where they had a lot of magic, so I was a little bit worried about that thinking that they would be super-positive coming into this tournament knowing that they had the best tournament of their lives here,” Patterson said. 

“We knew we had to serve really, really aggressively because they both have great offenses and are so physical. You have to get them out of their system and get an ace here and there and Jake made a ton of crucial blocks and sided out every ball in the match.”

The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam runs from Tuesday August 19 until Sunday August 24 when the men’s medal matches take place. It is the 13th event and the ninth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features 10 Grand Slams and nine Open tournaments.

The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Sao Paolo Grand Slam which runs from September 23-28.

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