The Hague, the Netherlands, July 4, 2015 – Juliana Felisberta da Silva and Maria Antonelli ensured it would be an all-Brazilian podium after they claimed a 23-25, 21-18, 15-9 win over Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships 2015 bronze medal match in The Hague on Saturday.
It is Juliana’s fifth World Championship medal and Antonelli’s second and marked the first time they had beaten the German duo at an FIVB event.
It was a good start for the Brazilians, with the latter scoring an ace on the second point. But Holtwick/Semmler fought back to draw level at 8-all. Neither team could carve out a commanding lead with some spectacular defence from Juliana keeping she and Antonelli in the game. It took the Germans four chances, and some very tense rallies, to finally convert set point and wrap up the opener 25-23.
It was much of the same in the second, with both teams desperate to fill that final podium spot. But a floating ace and powerful diagonal attack from Antonelli gave the Brazilians, who have two podium finishes already this year, pulled them back into the game.
A medical timeout for Holtwick delayed the game, but the halt in play didn’t stop Juliana/Antonelli’s momentum as they surged into a 13-8 lead, the widest of the game.