Lausanne, Switzerland, February 4, 2017 – “I can’t wait to play in the first Major of the season,” Italian beach volleyball player Marta Menegatti told swatchmajorseries.com
in a recent interview.
That first tournament is the Fort Lauderdale Major, which starts on February 7 and also marks the 26-year-old Menegatti’s first tournament with her new partner, Rebecca Perry. “It’s a test for us as a new team,” she says.
Menegatti’s decision to go with a new partner was forced upon her when her previous partner, Viktoria Orsi Toth, failed a drugs test. The pair had won the silver medal at the 2010 FIVB U21 World Championship and were enjoying success on the FIVB World Tour. Menegatti was understandably shocked.
“I felt lost, hopeless,” she recalls. “It was like I had been deprived of one half of myself. I still feel a deep anxiety thinking back to those moments; it was terrible.”
U.S.-born Perry, who is an Italian citizen, was nominated as a replacement for the Olympics but hadn’t played in the required 12 FIVB events during the Olympic qualification period, so Laura Giombini, was chosen instead. She also played the World Tour Final in Toronto with Menegatti.
“We shared many amazing moments,” Menegatti says. But there was a tactical problem as both were defensive players. So, in Rio Menegatti changed to the left side while the 1.83-meter Giombini became a part-time blocker after only two practices together. “I will always be grateful to Laura, but now for me it’s the beginning of a new adventure with Rebecca,” Menegatti says.
The 1.91-meter Perry is one of a number of indoor players who are shifting to the beach. As well as Manon Nummerdor-Flier and Maggie Kozuch, who will play their first international beach volleyball tournament in Fort Lauderdale, 28-year-old Perry has already experienced the FIVB World Tour.
“She is really good in the role of blocker,” Menegatti says. “She has considerable physical skills, a good technique and a great determination. I am very happy that she decided to fight by my side this season.”