Dubai, UAE - 2nd - challenge - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News


Triumphant Schneider & Sude

Top-seeded Isabel Schneider and Julia Sude won the women’s trophy at the second of two back-to-back Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge events in Dubai. It was Germany’s first Challenge-level gold in either gender, and the first medal for this newly formed pair of 35-year-old Olympian Sude and 31-year-old Schneider. For 2013 U23 world champion Schneider herself, it was the first world-level gold of her entire senior career.

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The silver medals went to 14th-seeded Molly Turner and Madelyne Anderson of the United States. It was the first Challenge-level podium for the pairing of 20-year-old Anderson and 26-year-old Turner as well. Previously, the American team had a Beach Pro Tour gold at the Futures level.

Third-seeded Taravadee Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee of Thailand snatched the bronze. It was their first Beach Pro Tour medal and a step up from their previous best result on the Tour, the fourth place at the first Dubai tournament earlier this week.

The first set of the gold medal match was quite one-sided. Schneider and Sude outplayed their opponents and opened a gap as wide as seven points at seven point at 13-6. Turner and Anderson fought back, but all they could do is get back to within two at 15-13 and 16-14. The Germans pushed forward and finally a long serve by Turner stopped the set at 21-17. The second set was relatively balanced through 9-9, but then the Germans once again started piling up a lead, which got extended to as many as seven points at 19-12. The set ended at the same margin with Schneider putting away the winner for the 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) victory. Sude was the best scorer of the match with 20 points to her name, including three kill blocks and two aces.

“At the moment, it is a little bit unreal. I think it was the first match we started pushing from the beginning. We had a lot of three-set battles, so we were very prepared for another hard battle, but it turned out better than expected,” Sude said right after the final. “Congrats to the USA team! They played really well. It’s always tough to play USA teams, but I’m very happy that we made it."

“It’s unbelievable!” Schneider added. “I had a couple of semifinals before, but I worked hard to get her and I am super happy that we could win this tonight. I already saw the medal and I was like, ‘yeah, I want this!’, and now I have no words, to be honest!”

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In the bronze medal match against sixth-seeded American duo Katie Horton and Julia Scoles, 28-year-old Naraphornrapat and 23-year-old Worapeerachayakorn completely dominated the first set. They broke away quickly and cruised on to win it by a smashing 11-point margin, with Naraphornrapat nailing the winner. The second set was more balanced. Horton and Scoles were in control for a while and even piled up a four-point advantage at 14-10. The Thais, however, caught up and, after 18-18, Worapeerachayakorn scored three points in a row - a spike, a monster block and an overpass kil - to close the game at 2-0 (21-10, 21-18).

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In Sunday morning’s first semifinal, Turner and Anderson stayed well in control throughout both sets and never let Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn take the lead in the score. With a 21-point match high from Anderson, including six kill blocks and three aces, the Americans mastered a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) win.

The second semifinal was way more competitive. With their successful attacks, Horton and Scoles dominated the second half of the first set to take the lead. They even took a three-point advantage early into the second set, but Schneider and Sude fought back taking advantage of the opponents’ many unforced errors to draw level. In the tie-breaker, the Americans had a 9-6 edge, but the Germans stepped up their spiking efforts to turn in around to a 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 15-13) victory.