FIVB Agadir Two Star
- Agadir, Morocco
- July 25-29, 2018
Italians Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth won their first tournament together since July 2016, going 5-0 en route to the Agadir Two Star gold medal.
Russians Maksim Hudyakov/Ruslan Bykanov earned their second title of the season, besting Austria’s Alexander Huber/Christoph Dressler for the Agadir men’s gold. The pair won the Alanya One Star on June 3.
No. 13 Menegatti/Orsi Toth topped Denmark’s Maria Elisabeth Tyndeskov/Line Trans Hansen (21-16, 21-15) and Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova/Evgenia Ukolova (21-19, 21-15) to take the Pool A title.
In the round of 16, the duo blew past Daria Gusarova/Zoi Konstantopoulou of Cyprus (21-10, 21-7). The quarterfinals saw Menegatti/Orsi Toth rally for a tiebreak win after dropping the opening stanza (17-21, 21-18, 15-10).
The last team standing in the way of their journey to the final was countrywomen Alice Gradini/Claudia Scampoli, who were dispatched 21-13, 21-16 on Sunday.
In the title match, the Italians faced their toughest test of the tournament in second-seeded Czech pair Martina Bonnerova/Sarka Nakladalova, edging the duo for a 19-21, 21-19, 15-12 victory.
The silver medal marked the best FIVB World Tour finish for Bonnerova/Nakladalova since a runnerup finish at the Langkawi One Star on April 16, 2017. The Russians’ path to the final included just one pool play match, a free pass through the Round of 16 due to an injury and a pair of sweeps in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Bonnerova/Nakladalova bested Latvians Alisa Lece/Ilze Liepinlauska 21-13, 21-19 to earn their shot at gold.
No. 7 Lece/Liepinlauska rounded out the women’s podium, taking the bronze with a 21-17, 21-14 win over Gradini/Scampoli. It was the first FIVB World Tour podium finish for the duo.
In men’s action, No. 11 Hudyakov/Bykanov rallied after dropping their opening pool play match to win five straight matches to take the title.
The Russians fell to Swiss pair Quentin Metral/Simon Hagenbuch 23-21, 21-19. A 21-10, 21-10 win over Australia’s Gareth Mann/Christopher Blake got the duo back on track. A Round of 16 sweep of Austria’s Florian Schnetzer/Daniel Mullner (21-16, 21-10) and quarterfinal victory over Latvia’s Toms Smedins/Haralds Regza (21-14, 21-16) sent the duo to the semifinals.
A 21-16, 21-17 win over Lithuania’s Arnas Rumsevicius/Lukas Kazdailis put the pair in the gold medal match.
No. 7 Huber/Dressler earned the silver in just their second tournament together, following a fifth-place effort at the Haiyang One Star on July 22. The Austrians won the Pool F title with two wins, then followed with a Round of 16 pass due to an opponent injury. A sweep of Latvia’s Aleksandrs Solovejs/Rihards Finsters and a tiebreak victory over top seeded Argentines Nicolas Capogrosso/Julian Azaad in the semifinals led up to the finals appearance.
Capogrosso/Azaad claimed the bronze medal with a 21-17, 21-19 win over Rumsevicius/Kazdailis. It was the first FIVB podium finish for the pair.