Sochi, Russia, September 13, 2015 – Marta Menegatti and Viki Orsi Toth won the gold medal at the inaugural FIVB World Tour Sochi Open on Sunday. In the final the Italians defeated Swiss team Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré 2-0 (21-19, 21-16).
“It’s our first gold in an international tournament”, Orsi Toth smiled. “Maybe tomorrow I will realize what happened. Right now I am just happy, really happy.”
Menegatti and Orsi Toth had a shaky start, trailing five points in the beginning of the first set. Menegatti: “We were a little nervous. I think that’s normal, because it’s a final. But in the middle of the set our energy came out.”
The Italians levelled at 13-13 and with Orsi Toth serving from 16-15 they leapt away to 19-15, to claim the set on their third set point.
In the second set Menegatti and Orsi Toth took control from the start, with Orsi Toth ruling at the net. “Viki played very well in the block”, her partner said. “The whole tournament. She improved game-by-game. That made it a lot easier for me in defence. She did a great job.”
Winning the Sochi Open was the team’s first gold, their third overall and their second medal in Russia this year. In May they also grabbed silver at the Moscow Grand Slam.
“Now we have a gold medal in our heart, because Russia is our second home country”, Menegatti said. “We are very proud of this result, we played very well.”
Forrer and Vergé-Dépré had never won a medal before and although they were disappointed about the final they could appreciate the silver. Forrer: “As a sports person it always sucks to lose. But I am really happy we made the final and we can be proud of this week, how we played and how we stayed together as a team. That was really nice.”
Zumkehr and Heidrich win bronze
Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich won their first medal since they teamed up in 2013. The Swiss girls defeated Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti 2-0 (21-18, 21-18).
Zumkehr and Heidrich controlled the match from beginning till the end, with a lot of service pressure and Heidrich ruling at the net.
“We played quite good, we served well”, Zumkehr said. “We pushed a lot with short serves. I think that was hard for them at the end of the tournament. That was our goal.”
Nerves got to them in the end of each set, needing more than one set and match point to finish. “We were a little nervous”, Zumkehr said. “But I think that is normal if you are close to winning your first medal together. But we had a big lead in both sets so we could still make it.”
The 30-year Zumkehr played medal matches before, winning two gold and one bronze with her former partner Simone Kuhn, but for 23-year old Heidrich this was her first besides winning gold at the JWC in Halifax in 2011. “It feels so good, I can’t find the words”, she said. “I am so happy. I was a bit nervous in the end but we made it.”