FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Rio Grand Slam 2016 | 8 - 13 mars 2016


Press release

Emotional freeze for Forrer/Vergé-Dépré on Copacabana Saturday morning

Switzerland's Anouk Vergé-Dépré (left) and Isabella Forrer are elated after ousting FIVB world champions gatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil from the Rio Grand Slam Saturday morning on Copacabana.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 12, 2016 - Maybe Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Isabelle Forrer brought a taste of the Swiss Alps to the tropics.

For sure, the duo from Switzerland was cool under pressure in the quarterfinals of the US$800,000 Rio Grand Slam, knocking off top-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil, 21-18, 21-23, 15-13, in a tense match that was the longest in the tournament at 1 hour, 8 minutes.


“It’s amazing,” Vergé-Dépré said. “It’s so hot here, but I’m freezing because of the emotion. We’re here in Rio and we wanted to get some points to get to the Olympics and to do it here is unbelievable.”

Screaming and clapping and producing noise in hopes of urging the Carioca women on, the crowd went silent when Vergé-Dépré slammed a shot down on the final point.

“We just tried to focus on every point,” Forrer said. “We had some situations the whole tournament, we almost didn’t make it out of the pool because of points and yesterday we had two tough matches against German teams.

“Today we just wanted to keep doing what we did yesterday. Mentally we wanted to keep strong and forget about the last point and just focus on the next one. That’s what we mastered much better today.”


The 20th-seeded Swiss pair will face Poland’s Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska. They advanced when third-seeded Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley had to forfeit due to a foot injury suffered by Pavan.

In the other semifinal, eighth-seeded Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross will face Germans Karla Borger and Britta Buthe, the No. 10 seeds.


Walsh Jennings and Ross continued their comeback with a 16-21, 29-27, 15-6 win over third-seeded Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst in a 56-minute match. Walsh Jennings and Ross had to rally from an 18-16 deficit before outlasting the Germans.

“At some point in the second game, even though they had a couple point lead, I was like ‘They’re really uncomfortable.’ I could feel their discomfort,” said Walsh Jennings, in her first tournament since undergoing shoulder surgery late last year. “They kept their lead and at that point something triggered and we figured out how to get them out of their rhythm a little bit more.

“We took a couple of chances and we had chances early in both games but we just couldn’t execute because they’re really good. They make you think, they make you delay but at that point we executed.”

After serving Walkenhorst much of the match, the Americans switched and took at aim at Ludwig in the latter stages.

“Yeah, we caught onto that a little bit at the end and Kerri got a bead on her,” Ross said. “She kind of led the way and it worked. That was the key.”


Borger and Buthe had the task of taking on Viktoria Orsi-Toth and Marta Menegatti of Italy, who eliminated second-seeded Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes on Friday.

Borger and Buthe scored a 21-16, 24-22 victory after rallying from a 20-18 deficit in the second game.

“We have big respect for them how they play,” Buthe said of the Italians. “We’ve known them for six years, we’ve had many, many games against them, we’ve had many battles against them, we’ve won some, we’ve lost some. We knew how tough they were going to be. We knew how they were going to be after they beat Larissa.”

So Rio will be without its two Brazilian Olympic teams as the tournament is decided.

“We have to congratulate them,” Barbara said of Vergé-Dépré and Forrer. “They have all the credit because they played really well against us. Their serving was good and they were taking the opportunities that they had. We fought until the last point.

“We made some mistakes, we had a little bit of doubts about who we were supposed to play to because both of them were really good.”

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