On Saturday night, after a pair of semifinal demolitions on the Paris Elite16 kudos of Ana Patricia Silva and Duda Lisboa (21-16, 21-12 over the Netherlands), and Kristen Nuss and Taryn Kloth (21-13, 21-17 over Italy), Wealthy Lambourne puzzled aloud on Volleyball World TV what it would appear like if each groups have been to ship equally sturdy performances in opposition to each other in Sunday’s finals.
For quarter-hour Sunday, it appeared viewers wouldn’t be handled to such a closing.
Brazil whacked the USA, 21-10, within the opening set of the gold-medal match. Such a rating just isn’t uncommon for Ana Patricia and Duda. They entered the match having gained 26 of their earlier 27, and of their 5 matches earlier than the ultimate in Paris, that they had gained units by scores of 21-14, 21-13 (twice), 21-12 (additionally twice), and 21-10 over probably the greatest groups on the planet in Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson.
They have been the perfect workforce on the planet taking part in very very similar to the perfect workforce on the planet.
Earlier than that opening set, nevertheless, Nuss and Kloth, the third-ranked workforce on the planet, had performed very very similar to the No. 2-ranked workforce on the planet. Like Ana Patricia and Duda, they hadn’t dropped a match in Paris. Like Ana Patricia and Duda, just one workforce had managed to say a set off of them getting into the ultimate. Like Ana Patricia and Duda, their semifinal win was as clean and simple as a Sunday stroll.
The ultimate was the No. 1 seed vs. the two, and, in Paris not less than, there was a big hole between them and each different workforce within the subject.
However a 17-6 run by Brazil to shut the primary set made a convincing case that they have been the 1 seed — and held a big hole between each different workforce within the subject. Brazil piled up almost as many aces (8) within the first set because the USA did factors.
If there’s an Achilles Heel to Duda and Ana Patricia, it’s of the first-world selection. Huge leads often precede lackadaisical play. Within the Tepic Elite16, they beat fellow Brazilians Barbara and Carol, 21-13, and wound up dropping the following set and the match. Later, within the gold-medal match, a 21-15 second-set win over Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes was adopted by a 10-15 snoozer within the third. A 21-13 opening-set win in Gstaad in opposition to Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles wasn’t sustained, and so they went three, simply as they did in Montreal after profitable the primary, 21-14, although they wound up dropping in Montreal, giving up a 14-9 lead within the third set.
It’s selecting at nits. If constructing large leads and typically dropping focus within the aftermath is arguably the most important flaw in Ana Patricia and Duda’s sport, it’s an enviable drawback to have. And it wasn’t as in the event that they performed poorly within the second set in Paris, extra a regression to the imply for each groups; eight aces, is, in any case, a staggering quantity in a single match, a lot much less a single set.
Nuss and Kloth turned the tide, delivering on what Lambourne had requested to see:
Each groups taking part in their specific world-class manufacturers of seashore volleyball.
The place Ana Patricia and Duda win on predominantly side-out and energy, Nuss and Kloth lean on protection and craft. The second set was a superb bout that led to a 21-18 win for the USA. As 4 of the earlier seven matches had gone between the 2, Brazil and the USA have been going three.
The start of the third set was proof sufficient that when Brazil is at its greatest, there is no such thing as a doubting who’s the perfect workforce on the planet. A 3-0 lead stretched to 5-1 with ace No. 11. A mix of sharp angle swings and a wide range of excessive strains from Ana Patricia pissed off the workforce that’s arguably the perfect defensive duo on the planet.
However Nuss and Kloth do have maybe the strongest argument as the perfect defensive duo on the planet, and massive leads are, humorous as it might sound, no secure house for Brazil. A 5-1 run from the USA tied the rating at 9 apiece, delivering all the pieces Lambourne may have needed after which some.
“Nuss trying massively dialed in,” Simon Golding stated on Volleyball TV. “Getting some touches, one thing she didn’t a lot get within the first set however now it’s a USA scoring machine.”
Brazil simply has a behavior of shutting down the machine. Nuss and Kloth have by no means overwhelmed Ana Patricia and Duda.
Sunday wouldn’t be the day.
A side-out preceded an incredible dig and putaway from Ana Patricia, which led to a different dig and transition from Duda, all of which was adopted up, devastatingly, with an error from Nuss. A ten-10 tie slipped right into a 10-14 deficit for Nuss and Kloth.
“Brazil has woken up in set three when it actually mattered,” Golding stated.
“It comes on so quick in seashore volleyball,” retired German participant Chantal Labourer added.
Certainly — and it may possibly flip equally as quick, particularly when these are the 2 groups on the court docket.
Nuss and Kloth did their damndest, scoring three in a row to place the stress again on. Twice, Nuss dug Ana Patricia on what would show to be the ultimate rally. A near-perfect excessive line was saved by a diving Duda, whose dig shot into the left hand of Ana Patricia. All of the Brazilian blocker may do was take a windmill swing, reverse handed, which was, surprisingly but completely, given the staggering athleticism of this workforce, how the match ended: A superb run snuffed one level shy, a 15-13 gold medal victory, the match that the Parisian followers deserved.
“It’s at all times arduous to play in opposition to that workforce,” Ana Patricia stated. “It’s at all times a battle.”
Paris marks the fourth gold medal of the 12 months for Brazil, who stay the one workforce on the planet to win a number of Elite16 occasions. Nuss and Kloth’s silver medal solidifies their standing because the second-most embellished workforce on the planet, with 5 medals in 9 occasions.
For his or her efforts, the Brazilians took residence $30,000, whereas TKN earned $20,000.
Bronze was gained by the Netherlands’ Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon, who swept Italians Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi (21-17, 22-20) to say their second medal of the 12 months and first since a gold on the season-opening Doha Elite16 in February.
Perusic-Schweiner win second gold of 2023
The boys’s closing, too, was a battle. Germans Clemens Wickler and Nils Ehlers, in search of the primary gold medals of their careers, gave themselves a correct shot at one, claiming the primary set over the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner, 21-16. It was solely the second set that Schwiner and Perusic had misplaced within the match, the opposite coming within the opening spherical of pool to — guess who? — Ehlers and Wickler.
Simply as they did in pool play, Perusic and Schweiner rebounded from an opening-set loss to win the next two, 21-19, 15-11, sealing up their second gold medal of the season.
The win vaults the Czechs from No. 29 to No. 19 within the Olympic rankings regardless of having simply 5 finishes to their identify, resulting from an damage to Perusic earlier within the 12 months.
Bronze was gained by Robert Meeuwsen and Alex Brouwer of the Netherlands, their first medal of the season and first since a silver medal in Paris a 12 months in the past. It’s a vital outcomes for his or her entry factors, selecting them up out of qualifiers, the place they started this match, for the foreseeable future. The factors earned by Julian Horl and Alex Horst, who fell to the Netherlands for bronze, are crucial as properly, as they’ll now be nearer to the golden place of immediately into the Elite16 essential attracts.