Moscow, Russia, August 12, 2018 – Summer Ross and Sara Hughes ensured that their first season together on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has a golden glow to it when they won the final of the Moscow 4-Star tournament on Sunday.
The US pair defeated Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa 2-1 (21-19, 12-21, 15-12) in their first World Tour final since they teamed up for The Hague 4-Star in January.
“That was so amazing,” Hughes said. “My first World Tour final and being in the final meant everything.
“I am so glad I had this girl by my side. Brazil played great, but we competed hard to come out with the win.”
In July Ross, 25, and Hughes, 23, won their first World Tour medal when they left the Espinho 4-Star with the bronze medal in their luggage.
Gold means that Ross has improved on the silver medal she won in the Russian capital in 2017, when she was playing alongside Brooke Sweat.
The pair competed well in the first set, but the Brazilians dominated the second. However, Hughes scored the first point of the tie-break to settle their nerves. They then took control of the match and stayed calm when victory was in sight.
“We knew that the first point meant everything,” Ross said. “We just had to get every point we could get and somehow we got through.”
Switzerland’s Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart won their second World Tour medal of the year when they defeated Germany’s Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur in the bronze medal match.
The teams pushed each other hard through the first set, before the Swiss duo edged it at the end. In the second their confidence flowed through their play as they dominated the set and won the match 2-0 (21-19, 21-12).
“I think we had good serve pressure at the beginning of the first set so we were able to set up our pass and set,” Huberli said. “It meant we were able to play with more confidence on the serve as well as the side-out.”
Along with their two World Tour medals Huberli and Betschart won silver at the CEV European Championships to record their best medal haul for a season.
“If you count the medals it is our best, but our results aren’t the best,” Betschart said. “I think last season was a little bit easy for us, but we’ve improved as players and as a team, and it is really cool that we’ve won three medals this year.”
The Moscow 4-Star was the last 4-Star tournament in the 2017-18 season, and ran from August 8-12. The final tournament to take place is the Hamburg 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals that run from August 15-19.