Miguel Pereira, Brazil, August 11, 2019 – Wild cards Andressa Cavalcanti Ramalho & Diana Bellas Romariz Silva, seeded fourth in the main draw bracket at the Miguel Pereira one-star stop on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, topped the all-Brazilian podium of the event. 28-year-old Diana already had one silver medal from last year’s edition of the tournament and this gold was the second World Tour medal for her. For 22-year-old Andressa, a 2014 U19 world champion, this was the first podium finish on the Tour.
Another wild card team, Vitoria De Souza Rodrigues & Vanilda dos Santos Leao, seeded bottom 11th, took the silver. For 42-year-old Val, this was the fifth medal in her World Tour career, while for this year’s U21 world champion Vitoria this was the maiden top-three finish on the Tour.
Second-seeded Josemari Alves & Juliana Felisberta Da Silva completed the podium. This bronze is the first World Tour medal for highly-decorated 36-year-old Juliana since 2017 and the first-ever with this partner. For 40-year-old Josi, this is the third World Tour podium result in her career, after two first-place finishes in 2018.
The women’s podium at Miguel Pereira
Andressa & Diana could not hold on to a solid early lead in the first set of the gold medal match and allowed Vitoria & Val to catch up, only to break away again with a six-point run to a 15-9 advantage and build nicely to a 21-14 win. The two teams offered the spectators a spectacular battle in the second set. After 19-19, Vitoria elegantly tipped the ball to bring set point and then aced for 21-19 to level the match. The tie-breaker was really competitive through 8-8, after which Andressa & Diana ran off with five in a row and extended it to a 7-1 run to triumph with the gold at 2-1 (21-14, 19-21, 15-9).
“As fellow Brazilians, we know them well and what we planned for the match worked very well in the first set. Afterwards they improved very much and changed the game, so I just want to thank my partner for her performance and all the help she provided during the game,” said Diana.
“It was a tough game indeed, but I think our unity has spoken louder than anything else,” Andressa stated. “During the match and the competition we developed a strong bond and that was the reason for the gold.”
Josi & Juliana scored three in a row to level the score in the first set of the bronze medal match at 19-19 and prompt an exciting ending. However, their opponents, ninth-seeded wild cards Izabel Cristina Amaral Santos & Aline Lebioda, managed to convert their second set point to a 22-20 win. Six consecutive points gave Josi & Juliana a 10-4 lead in the second set. The experienced players never looked back and cruised on to a 21-16 close, prompting a decider. A nip-and-tuck third set offered the spectators a tight battle for domination. The two sides went toe-to-toe through 13-13. At that point, Juliana sustained an injury and took a medical time-out. Upon returning to the court, she hammered one out to deliver match point seconds before celebrating the victory at 15-13.
“Today the crowd watched one really great player here. There is no luck in Juliana’s career and titles!” Josi praised her partner.
“I think Miguel Pereira deserves an even bigger event,” Juliana said. “The atmosphere here is amazing and I loved to get to know this city.”
The last competition day at Miguel Pereira started with the two women’s semifinals in the morning. Andressa & Diana mastered a 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) victory over Izabel & Aline, while Vitoria & Val persevered through three sets against Josi & Juliana to celebrate with a 2-1 (21-19, 15-21, 15-9) win.
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