Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Germany’s Karla Borger and Julia Sude will play for gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Cagliari on Sunday. The bronze will be disputed between USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman and Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina.
April and Alix made it to the semifinals after winning the all-American quarterfinal clash with Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes. The Olympic champions made a powerful comeback from a set down to claim a 2-1 (18-21, 21-13, 15-8) victory.
Rain started pouring over Cagliari as April and Alix took to the court to face Pavan and Melissa in the first semifinal match on Saturday evening. Early into the match, things did not look good for Melissa, who suffered a shoulder injury and was forced to take a medical timeout. However, she recovered and, once the match was resumed, the world champions established total control over what was happening on the court to come out with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) blowout.
“We’re very happy! We wanted to end the season making a final. We have an opportunity to win a gold medal. Playing in this environment against the top teams in the world is so exciting and to be able to put that kind of performance on the court is excellent!” Pavan told Volleyball World.
“I am fine. I think after my injury I played even better than I have all tournament!” Melissa said. “Tomorrow’s final? No matter who the opponent, it will be amazing, and ultimately, it’s just going to be about us. If we can put on this performance, like we did tonight, then it’s looking pretty good for us.”
Borger and Sude played two very similar matches on Saturday. In both their quarterfinal and semifinal games, the Germans won the first set by a solid margin, dropped the second in the overtime and then dominated the tie-breaker to snatch it by a four-point gap. First, they celebrated a 2-1 (21-16, 24-26, 15-11) win over the number one team in the FIVB World Ranking, Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Santos Lisboa. Then they handed Makroguzova and Kholomina their first defeat of the tournament, 2-1 (21-13, 20-22, 15-11), to move on to Sunday’s final.
“It’s really emotional for us to end the season with a final. We had a pretty bad start, but this was a revenge for the pool match against Russia. They played a really, really good season. They are big talents. So congrats to them as well! We were even surprised to qualify for this event, but tomorrow we are in the final! We are really happy!” said Sude.
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020