Ljubljana, Slovenia, August 5, 2018 – Esmee Boebner and Zoe Verge-Depre of Switzerland defeated Ukraine's Inna Makhno and Iryna Makhno to win gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Ljubljana stop on Sunday.
For 18-year-old Boebner and 20-year-old Verge-Depre the gold was the first ever medal on the World Tour. For the 23-year-old Ukrainian twins it was a second World Tour podium finish after winning silver at Porec last month.
The Slovenian fans cheered as Jelena Pesic and Ana Skarlovnik earned the bronze medals on home sand. For both members of the 16th-seeded Slovenian pair, it was the first ever medal on the Tour.
The women’s podium at Ljubljana
On the last day of competition at Ljubljana, fifth-seeded Esmee Boebner and Zoe Verge-Depre added three more victories to their tally. In the quarterfinals on Sunday morning, they conceded their only set loss of the tournament, but came back for a hard-earned 2-1 (14-21, 21-12, 19-17) win over Czech Republic’s Tereza Kotlasova and Daniela Resova. In the semis, the Swiss duo had a tough time, especially in the second set, against Pesic and Skarlovnik, but managed to win in straight sets – 2-0 (21-17, 22-20), before cruising to one more shutout on the way to the top – 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) in the gold medal match against Makhno and Makhno.
“We had so much fun playing together! This was our first World Tour final and we made it all the way to the top,” Zoe Verge-Depre said. “It was an unforgettable experience. The other teams also did well, but we analyzed them pretty good and it worked out.”
The Makhno sisters in action
To reach the final, the seventh-seeded Ukrainian twins delivered a 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) quarterfinal upset of top-seeded Czechs Martina Bonnerova and Martina Maixnerova and followed that up with a 2-0 (27-25, 21-14) victory over Poland’s Agata Ceynowa and Martyna Kloda.
The bronze medal match also finished in straight sets. The home favourites defeated Ceynowa and Kloda by 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) and rejoiced with the bronze.
“We’re so happy we claimed a bronze medal,” 32-year-old Pesic said. “We are slowly wrapping up our beach volleyball careers, but the love for the sport is just too strong and we keep coming back. We still feel good on the sand, we prepared well for the game and delivered a solid performance.”