HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Brazil’s Brazil’s Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves won the women’s gold Sunday at the FIVB Huntington Beach, while Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands won the men’s at the four-star event.
The USA’s top finishers were Sara Hughes and Summer Ross and John Hyden and Theo Brunner, who both finished fifth in the the 48-team double-elimination tournament.
On the women’s side, Brazil’s Seixas and Alves got by compatriots Carolina Salgado and Maria Antonelli to win the top prize after dropping the first set (16-21, 21-15, 15-9).
“The most important thing was the attitude,” Seixas said. “The first set we were a little bit low, but once we talked on the court, and just decided to have fun and on each thing we had to do, regardless of whether or not we’re missing, that made the difference for us.”
Germans Chantal Laboreur and Julia Sude defeated Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes to win bronze after eking out an overtime first set win (35-33, 21-16).
Brouwer and Meeuwsen took the more difficult road through the losers bracket, but were able to defeat Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola with their own brand of high-altitude hard-hitting volleyball (21-16, 21-15).
“We didn’t start well at all,” Brouwer said. “We knew how we wanted to play, it was one big fight. But we knew that we were fit and strong and that we could handle it. We played nine games this tournament and we feel really good at this moment.”
Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera won the bronze in a straight-set victory over Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins 22-20, 21-17.