Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 27, 2015 – Second seeds Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes were pushed hard in their opening match at the Netherlands 2015, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, but eventually hit back late on to win.
They faced Dutch wildcard pair Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist on centre court in Amsterdam and were pushed all the way in a 2-1 (21-15, 18-21, 15-10) victory. They appeared set to take a straightforward win, but the local pair were inspired by the support of their home crowd and fought back in the second and drew level.
Van Gestel and van der Vlist carried that form into the third set, but Larissa and Talita used all their experience to maintain their focus and win with a dinked shot from Larissa.
“It was good, it was good,” Talita said. “In the second set the Dutch girls played so well and their jump serve was so good, but in the third set Larissa made a lot of important digs and that was the most important thing for us.”
Larissa is chasing her fifth World Championships medal at Netherlands 2015 having won gold at Rome 2011, silver in 2005 and 2009 and bronze in 2007, all with former partner Juliana Felisberta.
Talita is also aiming to expand her World Championships medal collection, having won bronze in 2009 alongside Maria Antonelli. The pair are enjoying stellar form having won six of their past seven FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour events.
“This is great start and I feel very happy with today,” Larissa said. “I hope I get another medal at this World Championships.”