Brazil celebrated its first FIVB medal of the year when Barbara Seixas De Freitas and Agatha Bednarczuk defeated Canadians Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan for gold at the Prague Open. To their haul, the country added a bronze medal, with Maria Clara Salgado and Carolina Salgado withdrawing from the third place match to give Eduarda Lisboa and Elize Maia the victory.
Pavan and Bansley ended Seixas De Freitas and Bednarczuk’s 2014 season when the Canadians defeated the Brazilians in pool play of the Sao Paulo Grand Slam. The Brazilians, however, found redemption in their 21-12, 21-18 gold-medal win in Prague.
Americans Jennifer Fopma and Summer Ross went 2-1 in their Prague Open pool and advanced to the third round of the tournament but were ultimately defeated by eventual champs Seixas De Freitas and Bednarczuk.
Brittany Hochevar and Heather McGuire, who entered the tournament through the qualifier, also went 2-1 in their pool. After earning a bye into the second round of elimination play, Spaniards Angela Lobato Herrero and Paula Soria Gutierrez defeated the Americans in three sets.
The performance of Canada’s women has certainly been the biggest story so far this FIVB season. Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas claimed gold in Fuzhou and bronze in Lucerne, which along with Pavan and Bansley’s silver gives the country a well-balanced medal collection.