BERLIN, Germany - USA’s Jennifer Fopma and Brooke (Youngquist) Sweat (former FGCU volleyball player) won their first ever World Tour medals when they beat Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 15-12) in the bronze medal match.
Both teams were going for their first ever World Tour podium place and the Americans started stronger. While they maintained their momentum at the start of the second set a well-placed time-out gave the Czechs the chance to regroup and draw level.
“We just had to keep battling,” Sweat said. “We got down a few times, but we knew if we stayed calm, controlled our side we could battle back and that’s how we did it.”
Fopma and Sweat rediscovered their rhythm in the tie-break though and won to improve on their previous best, which was a quarterfinal finish at the Gstaad Grand Slam.
“I think we started the tournament really slow and we weren’t playing our best,” Fopma said. “So each match we tried to get better and better. Once we played Jen and April, Kessy and Ross, we played our best match against them and I think that gave us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the playoffs.”
The Berlin smart Grand Slam is the seventh Grand Slam on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, which is comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. There are also eight Open events and while they are not part of the World Tour, they still count towards the FIVB World Rankings and help open the door for development of the sport.
The tournament concluded with the women’s gold and bronze medal matches on Sunday August 11, while the men’s medal matches took place on Saturday August 10.