FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Vitoria Open 2016 | 15 - 20 mars 2016


Press release

Brazil vs. United States for women’s gold in Vitória

Talita Antunes (left) and Larissa Franca won two matches Saturday at the Vitória Open to advance to their 12th FIVB World tour gold medal where the Brazilians are undefeated in their first 11 title matches

Vitória, Brazil, March 19, 2016 - It will be Brazil versus United States for the 92nd-time for a women’s gold medal on the FIVB World Tour as the top two seeded teams won a pair of matches here Saturday on the Camburi beach center court to advance to the finals of the $150,000 Vitória Open.

The United States holds a 50-41 edge in the head-to-head gold medal matches with the South American country as the fifth FIVB World Tour women’s finale on the 2015-2016 calendar will feature top-seeded Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca of Brazil playing second-seeded Americans April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings as the two beach volleyball pairs defeated teams from Australia and Germany in the Saturday evening matches.


With the men’s semifinal matches also being played Saturday evening featuring pairs from Brazil, Italy and the Netherlands, the medal matches for both genders will be staged Sunday where the winning pairs will split the $11,000 first place prize.

Vitória Open is the first FIVB World Tour stop on Camburi beach since 2006 when Larissa captured the all-Brazilian women’s gold medal with Juliana Felisberta while Walsh Jennings placed third with Misty May-Treanor in the all-American bronze medal match.

Talita and Larissa advanced to the finals by defeating fourth-seeded Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy of Australia 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in 36 minutes. It was the third straight win by the Brazilians over Bawden and Clancy on the FIVB World Tour.  

Earlier Saturday, Talita and Larissa eliminated 22nd-seeded Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) in a 37-minute quarterfinal match. In posting a 6-0 mark this week, Talita and Larissa have not lost a set with the average margin per set being five-plus points.

Ross and Walsh Jennings gained a spot in the finals by defeating 17th-seeded Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler of Germany 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) in 32 minutes. The Germans had defeated Ross and Walsh Jennings in their only meeting in July 2014 at The Hague Grand Slam. In their first match Saturday, the Americans posted a 2-1 (16-21, 21-18, 15-11) win in 53 minutes over 10th-seeded Antonelli/Lili Maestrini of Brazil.


For Ross and Walsh Jennings, the Americans will be playing in their second-straight FIVB World Tour gold medal mach after capturing the gold medal at the Rio Grand Slam on the same site where the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be played August 6-18.

For Talita and Larissa, it is their first finale of the 2015-2016 season as the Brazilian Olympians had placed ninth in the previous two FIVB World Tour stops in Maceio (February 23-28) and Rio de Janeiro (March 8-13).  In their previous four international starts at the end of the 2015 calendar, Talita and Larissa topped the podium in the United States, Poland, Brazil and the United States.

Talita and Larissa, who have won 12-straight semifinal matches together on the FIVB World Tour since forming their partnership in July 2014, will be seeking their 12nd international gold medal with the Vitória Open being their 19th tournament together on the worldwide circuit.


One of their gold medal wins was a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) victory over Ross and Walsh Jennings at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, California.  It was the only meeting between the two teams as Walsh Jennings missed several international events last season due to a dislocated right shoulder that required surgery last September.  The Rio Grand Slam was her first competitive event since the surgery.

Holtwick and Semmler advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 (18-21, 21-13, 15-8) quarterfinal win in 42 minutes over 13th-seeded Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland while Bawden and Clancy posted a 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) quarterfinal win in 32 minutes over fifth-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Büthe of Germany.


The early season FIVB World Tour swin” through Brazil concludes with the Vitória Open after previous stops in Maceio (February 23-28) and on iconic Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro (March 8-13).  Following the Vitória Open, the FIVB World Tour will take a two-week break before resuming action April 4-8 for the men’s-only event in Doha, Qatar.  Before returning to Brazil for the Fortaleza Open at the end of April, two double-gender events will be staged in China at Xiamen (April 12-17) and Fuzhou (April 19-24).

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