There is the possibility of an all-German or an all- Brazilian women’s final at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Stare Jablonki Grand Slam in Poland on Saturday after two sides from each country advanced to the semifinals on Friday.
First off, Klagenfurt Grand Slam gold medalists Larissa Franca / Talita Antunes take on Gstaad Grand Slam winners Katrin Holtwick / Ilka Semmler aiming to complete a run from the qualifying rounds to the gold medal match. Both teams won this season’s gold medals against their compatriots. Larissa / Talita defeated Juliana Felisberta / Maria Antonelli in Klagenfurt, while Holtwick / Semmler beat Karla Borger / Britta Buethe to claim glory in the Swiss Alps. Following that clash, Hague Grand Slam winners Taiana Lima / Fernanda Alves take on Julia Sude / Laura Ludwig, who was one half of the Shanghai Grand Slam winning combination.
Katrin Holtwick / Ilka Semmler have their eyes set on another set of gold medals after they reached the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam semifinals on Friday. The German duo beat Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk / Barbara Seixas by 2:0 (21-18, 21-15) to set up the clash against another Brazilian side. Larissa / Talita defeated Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez by 2:0 (23-21, 21-16).
“We had a game against them in Long Beach and it was almost the other way around,” Holtwick said. “We really did not want to play like we did in Long Beach so we were on fire for this game. So it is great, another semifinal.”
Holtwick / Semmler enjoyed their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam gold medals at the Gstaad Grand Slam in July and since they competed at the Hague, Long Beach and Klagenfurt Grand Slams, adding silver in the Dutch capital. They have also been at home in Germany where they won silver at the Kuhlungsborn German Tour event.
“Since Gstaad we have played a lot of tournaments and travelled around the world,” Semmler said. “It was really exhausting, but the last two weeks were quiet for us as we had a stop in Germany and we had the chance to rest, recover and train. It was important to have time to train and now we are back and focused and aiming to win.”
Fernanda and Lima set up a clash against Ludwig / Sude after they won by 2:0 (21-13, 21-18) against Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova / Kristyna Kolocova. Ludwig / Sude meanwhile beat Canada’s Heather Bansley / Sarah Pavan by 2:1 (21-15, 21-23, 15-10).
A total of five European teams had won their pools in the first stage of the women’s main draw to qualify directly to the second single elimination round. Another ten finished second or third and had to go through the first round. Half of them were successful there to make it to the eighthfinals.
Today’s semifinals start at 11:00 and 12:00 local time with the third place match and the final scheduled for later in the afternoon.