Young Brazilians upset Dutch Olympians to win Itapema pool


Brazilian teams were in top form in the first day of the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour four-star event in Itapema as duos from the host country topped six of the eight pools of the women’s tournament at the Meia Praia Beach on Thursday.

The most remarkable victories of the opening day in Itapema came by the hands of qualifiers Taina Bigi and Victoria Lopes, who are guaranteed in the Round of 16 and have already matched their best result in a four-star event.

“Having fans back in the stands is exciting and it gave us a little bit more energy to fight today,” Victoria commented. “We were losing the final set of our second match but we managed to remain focused on what we needed to do and fortunately found a way to win. It was a really important result for us.”

The 26-year-old Taina and the 22-year-old Victoria started the day with a solid two-set (21-17, 21-13) victory over the new Spanish duo of Maria Carro and Angela Lobato and followed it up with a hard-fought, 2-1 (21-18, 14-21, 15-13) triumph over Dutch Olympians Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam to win Pool E.

“I think we played really well against the Spanish,” Taina reflected. “We knew it would be very difficult against the Dutch as they’re coming from a great season. Remaining focused was the key for us as it’s what allowed us to get back in the game in the third set after losing the second by a somewhat wide margin.” 

Agatha and Duda in action during the first day of the main draw in Itapema

Tokyo Olympians Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa, who are playing together for the last time in Itapema, have also won their pool in Itapema. The world ranking leaders finished on top of Pool A after straight-set victories against Denmark’s Sofia Bisgaard/Clara Windeleff (21-12, 21-15) and Ukraine’s Valentyna Davidova/Diana Lunina (21-15, 21-13).

“We're playing without pressure and enjoying every moment and every play,” Agatha said. “We're communicating really well on the court and I hope we can go all the way to the end in this tournament. The stadium is amazing, the fans have been great and it's a real privilege that we get to play our last event together in such a nice environment.”

Talita Antunes and Rebecca Cavalcanti, who are sharing the court international for the first time since they joined forces, had an equally prolific day, winning Pool C with two-set triumphs over Germany’s Leonie Klinke/Sarah Schneider (21-17, 21-16) and USA’s Terese Cannon/Sara Hughes (21-18, 23-21).

Carolina Salgado/Barbara Seixas, Elize Maia/Thamela Coradelli and Andressa Cavalcanti/Victoria Rodrigues completed the list of Brazilian teams guaranteed in the Round of 16. 

The only international teams to top their pools were Spanish Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno, who became Pool B winners with a 2-1 (21-18, 18-21, 15-12) victory over the Ukrainian twins Iryna and Inna Makhno, and Germans Svenja Muller and Cinja Tillmann, who knocked Brazilians Taiana Lima and Hegeile ‘Hege’ Almeida down in the tie-breaker (18-21, 21-16, 15-4).

Muller blocks Taiana in one of the few setbacks of Brazilian teams in the opening day of the main draw

The main draw continues for the women on Friday with the conclusion of pool play, the Round of 24 and the Round of 16. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played on Saturday and the medal matches on Sunday.

All matches are streamed live on Beach Volleyball World’s YouTube channel.

Quick links:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Itapema
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020



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