Voronina/Bocharova crown perfect season for Russia with second title in two weeks
Vulcano, Italy, September 10, 2017. Russian youngsters Mariia Bocharova and Maria Voronina claimed on Sunday the #EuroBeachVolleyU20 women’s crown only two weeks after having celebrated their first-ever title at the #EuroBeachVolleyU18 on home soil, while Mexime van Driel/Katja Stam of the Netherlands won bronze to complete the podium behind Italy’s Reka Orsi Toth and Chiara They. It was the crowning moment of an incredible Beach Volleyball season for Russia.
15-year-old Bocharova and 17-year-old Voronina edged home stars Reka Orsi Toth and Chiara They 2-1 (19-21, 21-9, 15-13) in a true three-set thriller in front of a packed stadium to claim their second Under Age gold medal in two weeks.
“Honestly, it was mentally not easy to play Italy in the gold medal game. When we won the #EuroBeachVolleyU18 crown in Kazan, we had the crowd backing us – they inspired us. Here in Vulcano, it was the other way around,” 15-year-old Bocharova explained.
The Russian youngsters had to fight hard, but proved they have nerves of steel. After some struggles in the opening set, Voronina/Bocharova outplayed the crowd pleasers in the second set. In the third set, they crushed the Italian dreams of winning gold as they completed an incredible comeback after trailing by four points.
Voronina barely found the words to describe this comeback. “I think this comeback was a miracle. We suddenly found the perfect antidote for their game; we scored aces and had some unbelievable plays in defence. It just feels unreal.”
Nevertheless, youngster Bocharova does not want to lose her head despite the big achievements of the last two weeks. “Now it is time to go back home and keep on working very hard. Because there is still a lot we have to work on if we want to become Beach Volleyball pros.”
However, there is no doubt that the two aspiring youngsters are two of the most promising prospects in European Beach Volleyball.
Russian Beach Volleyball fans can look forward to a very bright future. With Voronina/Bocharova’s #EuroBeachVolleyU18 and #EuroBeachVolleyU20 double – only the second of a women’s team in Beach Volleyball history after Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska and Katarzyna Kociolek achieved the same feat in 2012 – the rising stars of European Beach Volleyball made history as Russia claimed all Under Age men’s and women’s gold medals at stake in 2017.
In the bronze medal game, on the other hand, Mexime van Driel and Katja Stam from the Netherlands overpowered locals Dalila Varrassi/Carolina Ferraris 2-0 (21-14, 21-16). For van Driel, the #EuroBeachVolleyU20 medal is the second at an international tournament after winning silver at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in Larnaka last year with Nika Daalderop, while for teammate Stam it’s the first-ever medal in their major international debut as a team.
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Information by cev.lu