Year in Review: Brazilians take World Tour by storm

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 21, 2015 - In a similar vein to the men's circuit, the competition was an open one until the Brazilian teams decided to stamp their mark on the women's 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

Canada's Jamie Broder / Kristina Valjas and Germany's Karla Borger / Britta Buthe got their moments of glory at the top end of the season, dominating the Fuzhou and Lucerne Opens.

But then Brazil came on! Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas won the Prague Open with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) win over Canada's Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan...

... before Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca picked up the baton to set off on a dream season. Talita and Larissa dominated the Moscow Grand Slam with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) win in the final over Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands, netting their 5th straight FIVB World Tour gold medal.

The Brazilian pair continued with another brilliant performance at the Porec Majors, where they beat Bansley / Pavan in the final 2-1 (21-16, 25-27, 15-12) for yet another gold.

Talita and Larissa after winning yet another gold at the Porec Major.

Maria Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta dropped in to claim the Stavanger Majors with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) win in the all-Brazilian final against Agatha and Barbara, before the two teams swapped positions on the podium as Agatha/ Barbara defeated Maria Antonelli/Juliana 2-0 (23-21, 21-19) in the final of the St. Petersburg, Florida Grand Slam.

But after Agatha and Barbara won the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands, it was Talita and Larissa France all the way again, as they carried on with gold medals at the Gstaad Majors, the Long Beach Grand Slam, the Olsztyn Grand Slam and the Rio de Janeiro Open.

Talita and Larissa's run was only interrupted at the Yokohama Grand Slam, where Germany's Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst eliminated the Brazilians in Round 3 (reducing them to ninth place) and then went on to win gold by defeating Agatha/Barbara 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) in the final.

Taking advantage of the absence of Brazilian teams, Italy's Marta Menengatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth defeated Switzerland's Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) in the final of the Sochi Open and another Swiss pair, Joana Heindrich / Nadine Zumkehr, downed ninth-seeded Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug of Argentina 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) at the Xiamen Open.

And then, Talita and Larissa stormed back to claim the ultimate gold, at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale. Extending their winning streak to 27 straight matches, Talita and Larissa finished their international season on a high, defeating Ludwig and Walkenhorst 2-0 (21-17, 21-18).

Talita Antunes, after claiming gold at Fort Lauderdale to cap a dream season:

“I never dreamed when I started playing that I would have gotten this far.
It is so hard to get out of Brazil because there are so many good teams. I am so happy.”

What a way to finish!


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