BEACH VOLLEYBALL: First-time World Tour golds for Ana Patricia & Rebecca over Americans Sponcil & Claes

Brazil's Ana Patricia and Rebecca celebrate another World Tour win! (Photo: FIVB)

No matter who won the women’s final in the FIVB World Beach Volleyball tour 4-star final in The Hague (NED), it was going to be special.

It turned out to be Brazil’s Ana Patricia and Rebecca who took the measure of the American pair of Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes, 21-10 and 21-18.

“I am happy, but there are no words for this moment,” Ana Patricia said. “It is our first gold medal in a 4-star competition and today is the birthday of our coach, so it is so, so special for us.”

As it was, it’s only the second World Tour win for the Brazilians, who won the 3-star tournament in Las Vegas (USA) earlier in the season. It would have been the first World Tour gold for Sponcil – a former UCLA Bruin – and Claes – a former USC Trojan – if they had won, but it was their second medal in the three World Tour events they have competed in as a pair, after a bronze in the Qinzhou (CHN) 3-star.

The defending champion pair of Americans Alix Klineman and April Ross finished fourth to Finland’s Taru Lahti and Anniina Parkkinen, 15-21, 21-13, 15-6.

Russia dominated the men’s tournament, with Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilinikov cruising to the win, defeating countrymen Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov in straight sets in their semi, and then Julius Thole and Clemens Winkler (GER) in the final by 21-11, 21-18.

It’s the third medal in three events for this new Russian team, after a silver and bronze in tournaments last October. “We’ve had three unbelievable days here in The Hague and now three unbelievable tournaments,” Stoyanovskiy said. “He is the best and nothing more needs to be said.” Summaries:

FIVB World Tour 4-star
The Hague (NED) ~ 2-6 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Viacheslav Krasilnikov (RUS); 2. Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler (GER); 3. Konstantin Semenov/Ilya Leshukov (RUS); 4. Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (NED). Semis: Stoyanovskiy/Krasilnikov d. Semenov/Leshukov, 2-0; Thole/Wickler d. Brouwer/Meeuwsen, 2-0. Third: Semenov/Leshukov d. Brouwer/Meeuwsen, 2-1. Final: Stoyanovskiy/Krasilnikov/Thole/Wickler, 2-0 (21-11, 21-18).

Women: 1. Ana Patricia Silva Ramos/Rebecca Cavalcanti (BRA); 2. Sarah Sponcil/Kelly Claes (USA); 3. Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen (FIN); 4. Alix Klineman/April Ross (USA). Semis: Sponcil/Claes d. Lahti/Parkkinen, 2-1; Ana Patricia/Rebecca d. Klineman/Ross, 2-0. Third: Lahti/Parkkinen d. Klineman/Ross, 2-1. Final: Ana Patricia/Rebecca d. Sponcil/Claes, 2-0 (21-10, 21-18).

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