Huntington Beach, USA, May 6, 2018 - Fernanda Alves and Barbara Seixas collected their second gold medal of the 2017-2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season on sand in the United States after winning another all-Brazilian women's finale here on Sunday at the $300,000 Huntington Beach Open.
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After topping the podium on the first weekend of March at the Fort Lauderdale Major by defeating Brazilians rivals Carolina Horta and Taiana Lima in the south Florida finale, the fifth-seeded Fernanda and Barbara claimed their second American gold medal on Sunday with a 2-1 (16-21, 21-15, 15-9) in 53 minutes over sixth-seeded compatriots Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado.
The Huntington Beach Open gold medal match marked the 60th time in FIVB World Tour history that two Brazilian women's teams met in an international finale. With the win, Fernanda and Barbara collected the $20,000 first-place prize while Antonelli and Carolina shared $16,000 for their second-place finish.
In the women's bronze medal match, third-seeded Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude posted a 2-0 (35-33, 21-16) win in 53 minutes over second-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada to claim the $10,000 prize for finishing third in the FIVB World Tour event.
Here are post-match quotes from the Brazilian players.
Fernanda Alves, Brazil: "I wanted to eat the ball! Each point is very important. If you miss one, it hurts. I was hungry for the ball to make the point. I started a little slow because I missed one or two balls and in the first set the energy was a little low. The energy here is good. The American people like beach volleyball. You can feel that inside the court. You make a great point and you can listen to the fans."
Barbara Seixas, Brazil: "We decided to have fun and really focus on each thing we had to do regardless if we are missing or not. This made a difference for us. We know each other a lot so we have a lot of information about them, they have a lot of information about us. It’s always tough because we must keep adapting because it depends on the wind, on the sand. We decided to make a little quicker balls to move the block a little bit and I think it worked for Fernanda especially. She killed it.
It’s just the beginning, man! We are really satisfied of course, and we have been working hard for it. We are proud of our work and our team because they are pushing us to become better. Once you make your game better and right, it doesn’t matter who your opponent is. It was an attitude adjustment. We already knew it was going to be a tough game. It was just a matter of aggressiveness to keep our energy at 100 per cent. The mistakes will happen, and the blocks will happen but it’s important to keep your mind straight with an aggressive attitude. Fernanda did this perfectly in the second set and the tiebreak. It was crazy to watch."
Maria Antonelli, Brazil: "This my first time winning a medal here in the United States. I’ve played here 10 years and Huntington Beach is so special. The people here support us all the time after the game, during the game. This is an American feeling, they like the beach, they like to enjoy, they like to support all teams, not only Americans."
Carolina Salgado, Brazil: "They started serving really good and I made a lot of mistakes on my reception. That’s something I do well, I have confidence and I made so many mistakes. The game was kind of dirty, the ball was coming from here, from there so that for sure was the difference in the last two sets. In the first set we served better. It’s very special to be on the podium with a medal, but for sure I’m sad. Tomorrow I’ll be better for sure."