Larissa and Talita now aiming for home glory and hat-trick of titles
August 23, 2014 – Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes wrapped up the women’s Stare Jablonki Grand Slam on Saturday and will aim to match that success when they play on home sand at the Sao Paolo Grand Slam in September.
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour moves south of the equator for the final Grand Slam of 2014, which runs from September 23-28.
Having won in Stare Jablonki and the previous tournament in Klagenfurt, Larissa and Talita will be out to make it a hat-trick of titles in front of their Brazilian fans.
The other two teams on the Stare Jablonki podium will have their confidence boosted by finishing among the medallists.
Silver medallist Laura Ludwig and bronze medallists Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler now hold medals of all three colours this season and will be aiming to at least match their achievements in Poland. Of the six medallists only Julia Sude was on the podium for the first time.
In the men’s tournament only four teams remain ahead of Sunday’s semifinals and medal matches.
Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst will take on World Tour champions Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, while Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Alvaro Filho play USA’s Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson.
Larissa and Talita round off golden run at Stare Jablonki
Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes completed their run from the qualifying rounds to top of the podium when they defeated Laura Ludwig and Julia Sude in the women’s Stare Jablonki gold medal match on Saturday.
The gold is Larissa and Talita’s second in only four FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournaments together and their second in successive tournaments after they won gold at the Klagenfurt Grand Slam.
The Brazilians beat the German duo 2-1 (21-14, 19-21, 16-14). Larissa and Talita appeared set for a straight forward win after comfortably winning the first set, but Ludwig and Sude fought back to claim the second and then saved two match points before the Brazilians prevailed.
“We had to calm down,” Talita said. “I think we had started making a lot of mistakes in the second and third set and had to stop making them.
“We just calmed ourselves down and just thought about the next ball.”
Austrians one step away from matching career best
Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst continued their progress at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam by reaching the men’s semifinals on Saturday.
They will now play FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour champions Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs for a place in the gold medal match on Sunday, while Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Alvaro Filho will take on USA’s Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson.
The Austrian pair faced a tricky challenge against the Netherlands Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst, but continued their impressive form with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) victory.
“We knew that Reinder Nummerdor has been playing for a long time and has won almost everything already and is a really good player,” Horst said. “We call the other one ‘the animal’ because his serving was unbelievable and he was blocking everything.
“I think we really played well and it was a good level, but we always had a few points and that made the difference in the sets.”
Doppler and Horst have good memories from Stare Jablonki; two years ago they reached their first and so far only World Tour gold medal match before they lost to Smedins and Martins Plavins.
Ludwig and Sude set up Brazil versus Germany final
Laura Ludwig and Julia Sude battled back from being set point down seven times in the opening set of their Stare Jablonki Grand Slam semifinal to beat Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves and reach the gold medal match on Saturday.
It means that after two Brazil versus Germany semifinals a Brazilian and German team will meet in the final, after Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes defeated Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler.
Ludwig and Sude won 2-0 (28-26, 21-1) after they had fought back to win the first set with their first set point. They then edged ahead in the second set to build a lead that Lima and Fernanda were unable to claw back.
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.