Germans spoil Brazilian beach party


Fort Lauderdale, USA, March 2, 2018 – What appeared to be a possible Brazilian sweep of medals at this week’s women’s competition at the $600,000 Fort Lauderdale Major did not materialize as Germany’s Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider posted a quarterfinal upset of Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa from the South American country here on Friday evening.

Seeded 24th in the women’s Main Draw after winning two qualifying matches, Bieneck and Schneider posted a 2-0 (21-16, 22-20) quarterfinal win over the 10th-seeded Agatha and Duda. In the Germans' three previous FIVB World Tour matches against Agatha and Duda, the Brazilians posted winning scores including a pool play victory at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale Major.

It was the second setback to a German team in Fort Lauderdale for Agatha and Duda at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park as the Brazilians dropped a three-set pool play match on Wednesday to 23rd-seeded Kim Behrens and Sandra Ittlinger. Earlier on Friday, Bieneck and Schneider posted a 2-1 (21-15, 16-21, 15-11) elimination win in 44 minutes over Behrens and Ittlinger.

In the preceding two matches before the German win, Brazilians Carolina Horta/Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas posted quarterfinal wins over teams from Germany and the Czech Republic, respectively, to set the stage for a possible sweep of medals for the South American country.

Carolina and Taiana advanced to the semifinals in their first-ever FIVB World Tour event together by posting a 2-1 (21-19, 23-25, 15-13) quarterfinal win over 21st-seeded Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch of Germany in 56 minutes. Like Bieneck and Schneider, Carolina and Taiana had to win preliminary round matches, but their competition started on Monday with a Brazilian country quota match.

The ninth-seeded Fernanda and Barbara gained a spot in the quarterfinals by defeating fourth-seeded Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) in 32 minutes. The win avenged a setback to the Czech pair last May when Hermannova and Slukova defeated Fernanda and Barbara for a bronze medal at a FIVB World Tour stop in Rio de Janeiro.

In the final women’s match on Friday, second-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada were upset by 13th-seeded Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat of the United States 2-0 (22-20, 25-23) in 44 minutes. In advancing to their second-straight Fort Lauderdale Major semifinal, Ross and Sweat will play Fernanda and Barbara in the semifinals.

The two teams have split a pair of matches on the FIVB World Tour with both being played in the Netherlands. Ross and Sweat won last June in The Hague and Fernanda and Barbara captured a win over the Americans last month on the same court.

The two qualifiers will be in the other semifinal as Carolina and Taiana were seeded first in the preliminary rounds and Bieneck and Schneider second.  Carolina and Taiana have a 7-1 match mark with their only setback to Ross and Sweat in pool play. Bieneck and Schneider are 6-1 with their only loss to Fernanda and Barbara in group action.

With the women’s semifinals and medal matches on Saturday, the men’s Fort Lauderdale podium placement matches will be on Sunday on the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park centre court. The winning teams will share the $40,000 first-place prizes.