The 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships final in Nanjing will be an exact replica of the 2016 edition in Lucerne with Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos and Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina into the gold medal match.
Both Duda/Ana Patricia and Makroguzova/Kholomina won their semifinal matches to enter the gold medal match in what will be a repeat of the 2016 final that Duda/Ana Patricia won.
In the first semifinal, the Brazilians were pitted against USA’s Kathryn Plummer and Milica Mirkovic who had defeated 2016 bronze medal winners Canada’s Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara in the afternoon quarterfinal.
The match started out closely with the two teams playing a similar formation with Plummer and Ana Patricia provided power at the net and Mirkovic and Duda solid in defense.
With the Brazilians taking the first set, USA was trailing in the second before Plummer/Mirkovic pulled back 5 points in a row to bring the score to 17-16.
But Duda/Ana Patricia proved their might on the court and are now just one match away from defending their 2016 title defeating USA, 21-19, 21-16.
“The match was special, USA has a lot of qualities. It’s very strange for me to play against someone bigger than me, I’m not used to it, but I liked it. I and Duda are united and work together very well as a team and it worked once again,” said Ana Patricia.
The Brazilians have also had previous success in Nanjing taking home the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medal.
“We’re so happy because once again here in Nanjing we are able to reach the final. We’re a team that doesn’t train together, we only play the youth championships together, so now we’re really looking forward to the final and hope we can win again,” said Ana Patricia.
Plummer and Mirkovic play for the bronze medal against Italy's Gaia Trabelli and Ester Maestroni, whom they beat in three sets during pool play.