Moscow, Russia, May 31, 2015 - Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth claimed their second-straight women’s medal at a FIVB World Tour Grand Slam event as the Italians posted a two-set win over Fan Wang and Yuan Yue of China in the second of four matches at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Center here Sunday.
Seeded 13th in the US$800,000 Moscow Grand Slam, Menegatti and Orsi Toth matched their No 2 podium placement at the Brazilian Grand Slam last September by scoring a 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 16-14) win in 55 minutes over the 10th-seeded Wang and Yue in the bronze medal match in the Russian capital.
After the Chinese dominated the first set and led for most of the second set, Menegatti and Orsi Toth caught fire to rally to force the third and deciding set. Wang and Yue led 7-4 and 8-5 in the third set, before the Italians came back to take a 9-8 lead. The two teams battled to the end with Menegatti’s defense playing a big part in the victory.
The victory earned Menegatti and Orsi Toth 640 world tour points while the Italians split $32,000 for the third-place finish. In the last international Grand Slam in Brazil, the Italians earned the silver medal after losing the São Paulo finale to Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca from the South American country in three sets with the tie-breaking set being 21-19.
Wang and Yue, who had a pair of silver medal finishes last season at events in China (Shanghai and Xiamen), shared $24,000 for fourth-place along with 560 points that will help improve their rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the Moscow Grand Slam is part of the qualifying process for the next Summer Games.
Menegatti and Orsi Toth fell into the third-place match after losing Saturday afternoon to seventh-seeded Madelein Meppelink/Marleen Van Iersel of The Netherlands 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in a 38-minute semi-final match. Wang and Yue lost a 2-0 (21-13, 23-21) semi-final contest in 33 minutes to top-seeded Talita and Larissa.
Menegatti and Orsi Toth were playing in their 18th FIVB World Tour event with Sunday’s medal their second podium placement together and fifth “final four” finish. Competing together since 2013, the Italians have a 55-39 match mark together. The pair also placed fourth at the 2013 Moscow Grand Slam.
Wang and Yue were competing in their 19th FIVB World Tour tournament with two medals to their credit and five semi-final appearances. The Moscow fourth was their second of the season after playing in the semi-finals last month in Fuzhou, China. The Chinese women how have a 55-36 match mark together on the international circuit.