Brazilians Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Evandro Goncalves came through for their first World Tour victory together, winning gold Sunday at the four-star FIVB Warsaw.
The win is a welcome validation for Schmidt and Goncalves, who united in February. They finished in silver in Jinjiang and fifth in Ostrava after 17ths in Doha and Xiamen and ninth in Itapema. What’s more, they broke the three-tournament winning streak of Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum with an 11-21, 21-17, 15-12 comeback victory.
The win is Schmidt’s 15th and Goncalves’ 7th. They defeated the tour’s hottest team in Mol and Sorum, who had previously won gold in the last three events in Itapema, Jinjiang and Ostrava.
The Norwegians dominated the first set as Mol repeated blocked Schmidt while playing nearly error-free volleyball.
In set two, Goncalves brought Schmidt’s sets off the net from 6 to 8 feet to take Mol out of the equation, while the 6-foot-11 Goncalves brought renewed vigor from the service line.
The Brazilians whittled away at the Norwegians in the well-played third set, with a Goncalves block giving them a 7-5 advantage, and a tough Goncalves serve that Schmidt would subsequently put away on two providing a 10-7 lead.
Schmidt would give one of the points back on a mis-hit long to cut the margin to 12-10, allowing the Brazilians two match points.
Schmidt squandered the first, being called for an open hand dink when Mol dropped his block during an apparent joust situation. He made good on the second, hitting a jumbo to Sorum’s corner to seal their victory.
In the all-Russian bronze-medal match, Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov edged Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy 21-19, 17-21, 16-14. Leshukov and Semenov appeared to have it sewn up with three match points at 14-11 in the third set, but a Krasilnikov dig and a pair of Leshukov hitting errors tied it at 14-14.
A subsequent Leshukov sideout and Krasilnikov hitting error put Leshukov and Semenov on the medal stand.
In earlier semifinal play, Goncalves and Schmidt defeated Leshukov and Semenov 21-11, 21-18 followed by Mol and Sorum defeating Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy 25-23, 19-21, 23-21.