Porec, Croatia, July 8, 2018 - Competing in their first-ever FIVB World Tour event as players and as a team, American collegiate standouts Emily Sonny/Torrey Van Winden from Cal Poly won seven-straight Porec Open matches enroute to winning the Croatian title here Sunday with a gold medal victory over Inna and Iryna Makhno of the Ukraine.
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In becoming the 16th team in the 27-season, 364-event history of the women’s FIVB World Tour to win a gold medal after playing in an event’s qualification tournament to earn a spot in a Main Draw, the 14th-seeded Sonny and Van Winden posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) win in 33 minutes over the third-seeded Makhnos to capture the Porec Open title.
To reach the Porec finale, Sonny and Van Winden posted a 2-1 (19-21, 21-10, 15-9 win in 44 minutes over Dimitra Manavi/Konstantina Tsopoulou of Greece while the Makhnos scored a 2-1 (21-14, 17-21, 16-14) victory in 46 minutes fifth-seeded Merve Nezir/Aleyna Vence of Turkey.
Stretching for Mikasa is American Torrey Van Winden
The Turkish pair recovered to win the bronze medal by Dimitra Manavi/Konstantina Tsopoulou of Greece 2-1 (22-20, 21-23, 15-13) in the 55 minute third-place match. It was Nezir and Vence’s second FIVB medal this season after placing third two weeks ago at the World Tour event in Manavgat, Turkey.
Ukrainians, Americans and Turkish player fill the Porec Open women's podium
The Porec Open was the sixth of nine events incorporated from the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) schedule into the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour for the 2017-2018 season. At the same time as the Porec Open is being staged, the CEV and FIVB was also be organizing the Anapa Open in Russia.
Turkey staged three of the first four events in Aydin (May 17-20), Alanya (May 31-June 3) and Manavgat, Turkey (June 21-24) with Austria hosting a tournament in Baden (June 14-17). Remaining CEV events being incorporated into the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour schedule are Samsun, Turkey (July 26-29), Ljubljana, Slovenia (August 3-5), and Vaduz, Liechtenstein (August 8-12).