Mersin, Turkey, May 3, 2018 – Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini are having to quickly make up for lost time after they embarked on the start of their new partnership in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in December, a time when most teams were already well into their preparations for the 2018 season.
That it didn’t faze the pair shows the strength of a friendship that stretches back over a decade and a willingness to overcome any difficulties that may come their way.
The fact that they have already played together also helped. In 2016 Giombini stepped in as Menegatti’s partner for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and they stayed together for the Toronto 2016 FIVB World Tour Finals later that summer.
Now though they are planning to go through the season together with the plan to improve the longer the season goes on.
“We’ve only been together since the middle of December, which was very late as our first tournament of the year was in January and we had zero preparation,” Menegatti said. “We started late, but we have grown lots in a short period of time and we are motivated to develop more as a team.
“We have played together since we first started beach volleyball, about 2006. We’re good friends and that is very important for us.”
So far Menegatti, 27, and Giombini, 29, have played three World Tour tournaments in tandem. They began by winning a bronze at the 1-Star Shepparton Open in February, but failed to progress through qualification at the Fort Lauderdale 5-Star and Xiamen 4-Star.
Currently they are playing in the Mersin 3-Star tournament and made it through qualifying to take their place as the 24-ranked team in the main draw.
The renewal of their partnership has meant that both players have had to adjust their game, but they are confident that it will begin to pay off soon.
“But we are two defensive players, but Laura has worked tirelessly to develop as a blocker and I’ve moved to the left because we are both right-sided players,” Menegatti said. “We’re still trying to find our balance, but it is going well.
“The dynamic on the court is something new, and while we may know each other off the court we have to find our balance on the court. We know each other well and that is a good point to start from, but we still have lots to work on.”