Way to Return! Arvaniti and Karagkouni shine with Luibljana gold

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Ljubljana, Slovenia, December 2, 2018 – Panagiota Karagkouni and Vasiliki Arvaniti made a remarkable return to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, winning the women’s gold at the Ljubljana winter edition one-star stop. 

The eighth-seeded Greeks went unbeaten through their five matches at the Ludus Sports Park indoor venue in the Slovenian capital to climb the top of the podium for the first time as a team. 

33-year-old Arvaniti, three-time Olympian, had not competed on the Tour since July 2016 and came back to win the second gold of her career, after her maiden title from the 2005 Stavanger Grand Slam. She also has three World Tour silver medals to her name. For Karagkouni this is only the second medal on the Tour, following a 2017 Monaco one-star bronze.

Second-seeded Vytene Vitkauskaite and Urte Andriukaityte of Lithuania matched their ranking and finished with the silver medals, their first World Tour medal. While 25-year-old Vitkauskaite was making her first appearance on the Tour, her 21-year-old partner had already played at 10 stops with two fifth place finishes in 2018 as her best results so far. The Ljubljana silver earned by Vitkauskaite and Andriukaityte is also the best result of any Lithuanian women’s team in the history of the World Tour.

The bronze went to the Ukrainian tandem of 26-year-old players Diana Lunina and Maryna Samoday. They debuted as a team at the Ljubljana summer edition in August and finished ninth. They followed up with appearances at Qinzhou and Yangzhou in the fall and on all three occasions managed to pass through the qualifications successfully, only to return to Ludus as the highest ranked duo and earn their first ever World Tour medal.

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