Ross (left) and Hughes are into their first World Tour final together
Moscow, Russia, August 11, 2018 – Summer Ross and Sara Hughes capped their first season together by reaching the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Moscow 4-Star final on Saturday.
The US pair started quickly against Germany’s Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur and kept their energy levels up to the end to finish with a 2-0 (23-21, 21-14) victory.
They will now play Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa in Sunday’s final, after the Brazilians defeated Switzerland’s Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart 2-0 (21-14, 21-19).
“That team is so great and they are fierce competitors,” Hughes said. “Summer and I went out and our goal was to play our best and our hardest, and that is what I think we did today.”
Hughes and Ross made their World Tour debut as a team at The Hague 4-Star in January. They quickly established themselves as tricky opponents who were able to reach the quarterfinals before breaking through to the medal positions in July when they won bronze at the Espinho 4-Star.
For Ross it will be the second season in a row that she leaves Russia’s capital with a medal, after she and Brooke Sweat won silver in 2017.
“The secret is just having fun and playing together,” Ross said. “We are just enjoying ourselves out here and I love playing with Sarah.”
Agatha and Duda didn’t hang around against Huberli and Betschart, who had already played to a tie-break in their quarterfinal earlier in the day.
The Brazilian pair were too slick with their play and Agatha and Duda maintained total focus whether they were at the net or defending the back of the court.
It means that they are certain to better the bronze medal that they won in Moscow in 2017, which would be Duda’s fourth World Tour gold medal in a nascent career that began at the 2015 Durban Open when she was only 15.
“It is crazy because she turned 20 ten days ago so she is very young, but is already playing at a high level,” Agatha said. “She is learning all the time, in every game and every tournament is like a lesson for us. That is why we are playing in this tournament even though we are already going to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Hamburg next week.”
The Moscow 4-Star is the last 4-Star tournament in the 2017-18 season, and runs from August 8-12. The final tournament to take place is the Hamburg 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals that run from August 15-19.