Toronto, Canada, September 17, 2016 - Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr avenged a setback to compatriots Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre in the Swiss national championships September 2 in Bern to defeat their rivals here Sunday morning to advance to the gold medal match Sunday at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals on Polson Pier.
Like the Swiss finale, Saturday SWATCH semi-final was a three-setter with Heidrich and Zumkehr posting a 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 15-10) win in 54 minutes. The match was the seventh FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with Heidrich and Zumkehr now leading 4-3.
While Forrer and Verge-Depre will play for the bronze medal later Saturday while Heidrich and Zumkehr will meet the winner of the second women's semi-final between reigning Olympic champions Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany and defending SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals gold medal winners Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil. The gold medal match will be played mid-day Sunday.
Isabelle Forrer - "They started serving better, that’s what we did better in the first and then they started pressuring on the sideout and that’s what happens."
Anouk Verge-Depre - "We try to remember what were the key points of the last match and we just tried to reproduce that because we know each other so well it can also happen for the other side. Today that was the case."
Nadine Zumkehr - "It was almost a normal Swiss-Swiss game with one set pretty easy for one and the next pretty easy for the other one. It’s tough if you get some points behind against a team that knows you pretty well because you have a lot of pressure and you start doing the things you usually do. And that’s what the opponent knows in this case.
"The key was just to stay patient to stay calm and know the second set starts at 0-0."
(in the final of her last event) "The tears are coming up again. It’s amazing. It’s like a dream. I think every single player would end their career in a nice way. To end it in a World Tour Final, I don’t have any words to describe it. I’ll just enjoy every single point tomorrow, fight to make it even better to get that gold home."
"But we have nothing to lose. We really want to to enjoy it, keep pushing hard on the court because tomorrow we know it’s the last one for sure. We will promise each other to enjoy, to go out of this game no matter what happens with a smile. I’ll have fun tomorrow and be grateful for what happened this week here."
Joana Heidrich - (Did they change the block strategy after the first game?) "We discussed it but I think the first set was not too bad but I was too much with my head because my sideout was not so good. I was not focusing so good on the block. I was feeling not good and I wanted to change but then Nadine said, No, you’re right, you have to do the same and it was working in the second and the third."