Olsztyn, Poland, August 30, 2015 – Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson needed over an hour to see off the challenge of Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik and reach the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Olsztyn Grand Slam on Sunday.
The US duo beat the German pair 2-1 (30-28, 19-21, 15-10) to set up a gold medal match against world champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt later on Sunday.
“We had a crazy day yesterday and played four matches, but we’ve been working with our strength coaches so hard that we can get through these matches,” Gibb said.
It is the first time that they have reached a World Tour final since they won the St Petersburg, Florida Grand Slam earlier in the season.
They reached the Olsztyn final the hard way. First they saved five set points and then needed five of their own to win the first set. The match continued to swing back and forth as the German duo hit back to win the third. Gibb and Patterson then took the early initiative in the tie-break and held on to win.
“We are really excited to play them (Alison and Bruno) and whenever we have the chance to play them we’re really excited,” Patterson said. “We’re going to go rest, eat and hydrate and hopefully win the whole tournament.”
World champs shaken but stir to reach final
World champion duo Alison and Bruno needed to rouse themselves late in the second set to reach their fifth consecutive World Tour gold medal match with a 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-9) win over Canada’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk.
In a re-run of the Yokohama Grand Slam gold medal match the Canadian pair enjoyed the better of the first set, but as they closed in on a two-set victory Alison and Bruno rediscovered their best form to draw level and then run away with the tie-break.
After winning gold at the Netherlands 2015, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, Alison and Bruno have won gold at the Gstaad Major Series tournament and the Yokohama and Long Beach Grand Slams.
“We knew it was going to be like this because those guys are having a great tournament here,” Bruno said. “They beat Emanuel (Rego) and Ricardo (Santos) and they have improved massively in the last few tournaments.
“We had to play with passion because we are feeling a little tired at the moment and we’ve been going to three sets a lot and all we can do then is put our passion into the match and use our friendship.
“We needed to have a lot of patience to turn it around because those guys were five points in front and that showed that we are in a good moment.”
For all the news and scores from the Olsztyn Grand Slam, click