Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 - It was just another day of playing Beach Volleyball at the highest level for Rio Olympic top seeds Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca as the Brazilians won their opening match in the 2016 “Summer” Games by defeating Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova of Russia here Sunday morning in two sets.
The Russians, who were the last women’s team to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by securing their berth at the FIVB Continental Cup Finals in Sochi last month, only led early in the first set as Talita and Larissa controlled the action throughout in posting a 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) Pool A win in 36 minutes.
Birlova and Ukolova, who are now 0-3 against the Brazilian international, held the advantage in the match on six serves in the first set as Talita and Larissa broke from a 5-5 tie to take a 12-9 lead at the first technical time out. The Brazilians came out of the break to score the next five points to lead 17-9. The second set was all Brazil as Birlova and Ukolova never seriously challenged for the lead.
All four players on the court Sunday had Olympic experience with Birlova and Ukolova placing ninth together at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Both Talita and Larissa are now three-time Beach Volleyball Olympians. Larissa won the bronze medal at the London 2012 Summer Games with Juliana Felisberta.
The two teams return to action Tuesday with Talita and Larissa playing Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat of the United States while the Russian meet Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska of Poland.