Romania’s Matei/Vaida Spoil Brazilian Party with Miguel Pereira Gold

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 27th, 2018 | FIVB World Tour, News, Pro Beach

Miguel Pereira One Star

Romania’s Adriana-Maria Matei/Beata Vaida, the lone non-Brazilian team among eight semifinal teams on the men’s and women’s sides at the Miguel Pereira One Star, spoiled the home country’s efforts at a podium sweep, winning the women’s gold on Sunday. It was an historic medal for the 20-year-olds as it marked the first ever gold for Romania in World Tour history, either men’s or women’s.

“It was very hard to beat a team from Brazil here, but I think the crowd actually helped us a lot,” Vaida said. “Although they were cheering for the home team, we liked this atmosphere. It’s amazing and we had a really great time here, in Brazil. I think this is really historic for Romanian beach volleyball.”

Fifth-seeded Matei/Vaida had to get through two Brazilian teams to claim the title. First the pair defeated No. 14 seed Naiana Rodrigues de Araujo/Rachel Nunes 21-9, 21-17 in just 30 minutes in the semifinals. The duo then downed No. 13 seed Aline Lebioda/Diana Bellas Romariz Silva 21-13, 21-19 in the gold medal match. In the championship, after a dominating first set, the Romanians rallied from down 17-14 with a 7-3 run to win on their first match-point try. The win not only gave Matei/Vaida the gold, but also avenged a three-set loss to Aline/Diana in pool play.

Aline/Diana topped countrywomen Taina Silva Bigi/Victoria Lopes Pereira Tosta in tiebreak (21-16, 15-21, 15-11) to reach the final.

Top seeded Taiana/Victoria sewed up the bronze with a 21-18, 21-19 win over Naiana/Rachel.

The podium finishes were the first for all three medalists. Matei/Vaida bested their previous top finish, a fifth-place effort at the Aalsmeer One Star in October. The other three teams in the semifinals were making their FIVB World Tour debuts as pairs.

On the men’s side, a Brazilian sweep was a surety as all four semifinalists hailed from the host country.

The most unlikely team, however, came out on top as qualifiers Vinicius Rezende Costa Freitas/Luciano Ferreira de Paula wound up atop the podium in just their second FIVB tournament, following a 49th place effort at the Huntington Beach Open on May 6.

Vinicius/Luciano fought to two tie-break wins on Sunday to earn the gold, rallying from a Set 1 loss in both contests. First up, the pair bested No. 6 Ramon Ferreira Gomes/Alvaro Marcelino Santos Andrade 15-21, 21-18, 15-11 in the semifinals. In the title match, the pair topped No. 10 Rodrigo Vieira Bernat/Harley Marques Silva 22-24, 21-18, 15-6.

Bernat/Harley, who began the tournament as a wild card entry into the main draw, made the final, edging Felipe Cavazin Numasawa/Vinicius Gomes Cardoso de Araujo in a pair of deuce sets (24-22, 21-19). The silver medal is the 35th career FIVB medal for the 43-year old Harley, but the first for his 30-year partner.

Ramon Gomes/Alvaro rounded out the podium with the bronze, defeating Numasawa/Vinicius 21-14, 21-14, for their first ever World Tour medal.


Women’s Semifinals

Matei/Vaida (Romania) def. Naiana/Rachel (Brazil) 21-9, 21-17


Aline/Diana (Brazil) def. Taina/Victoria (Brazil) 21-16, 15-21, 15-11


Women’s Bronze – Taina/Victoria (Brazil) def. Naiana/Rachel (Brazil) 21-18, 21-19


Women’s Gold – Matei/Vaida (Romania) def. Aline/Diana (Brazil) 21-13, 21-19


Men’s Semifinals

Bernat/Harley (Brazil) def. Numasawa/Vinicius (Brazil) 24-22, 21-19


Vinicius/Luciano (Brazil) def. Ramon Gomes/Alvaro (Brazil) 15-21, 21-18, 15-11


Men’s Bronze

Ramon Gomes/Alvaro (Brazil) def. Numasawa/Vinicius (Brazil) 21-14, 21-14


Men’s Gold

Vinicius/Luciano (Brazil) def. Bernat/Harley (Brazil) 22-24, 21-18, 15-6

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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