Matei and Vaida break through Brazilian domination into Miguel Pereira semis
Aline Lebioda and Diana Bellas Romariz Silva celebrating a point on the way to the semifinals
Miguel Pereira, Brazil, May 26, 2018 – Fifth-seeded Romanians Adriana-Maria Matei and Beata Vaida became the only non-Brazilian team claim a spot in the women’s semifinals of the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour one-star event in Miguel Pereira.
The other three pairs that will contest the medals on Sunday are top-seeded Taina Silva Bigi and Victoria Lopes Pereira Tosta, 13th-seeded Aline Lebioda and Diana Bellas Romariz Silva and 14th-seeded Naiana Rodrigues de Araujo and Rachel Nunes. It is the 50th time in the history of the World Tour that Brazil have three duos in the semis.
In the first elimination round, Matei, who turned 20 on the day before the tournament, and her partner Vaida faced few issues against fellow Europeans Jenny Stralman and Therese Stralman from Sweden, who suffered a speedy 2-0 (21-5, 21-7) defeat in just 23 minutes. The Romanians went on to meet Pool D winners Vitoria De Souza Rodrigues and Juliana Paula Simoes of Brazil in the quarterfinals. Despite losing the first set, Matei and Vaida came back for a hard-fought 2-1 (16-21, 21-17, 16-14) victory and a spot in Sunday’s semis against Naiana and Rachel.
Naiana and Rachel also had to start their day from the first knockout round, where they delivered a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) shutout of fourth-seeded Chileans Paula Ignacia Vallejos and Maria Francisca Rivas Zapata. In an all-Brazilian quarterfinal, they cruised on to a 2-0 (21-8, 21-10) win over Talita Calixto Simonetti and Hegeile Almeida dos Santos.
Matei and Vaida will take on Naiana and Rachel in the first semifinal, scheduled for 9.00 local time on Sunday. Right after that, the other berth in the grand finale will be disputed by Brazil’s Taina and Victoria and their compatriots Aline and Diana.
Taina and Victoria had only one match to play on Saturday, but it was a long three-setter, with a tie-breaker that extended well into overtime, for a 2-1 (21-11,19-21, 20-18) victory over second-seeded Diana Rios and Yuli Ayala of Colombia.
Aline and Diana were in a similar situation. Having advanced from the pool stage directly to the quarterfinals, they had to work for their semifinal spot with a 2-1 (21-15, 24-26, 15-7) win over Italy’s Carolina Ferraris and Francesca Michieletto.