Baku, June 21, AZERTAC
Swiss 19-year-olds Nicole Eiholzer and Nina Betschart rallied late on in a gripping final set to defeat Austrians Lena Maria Plesiutschnig and Katharina Schutzenhofer, claiming the first European Games Beach Volleyball gold medal.
Two points away from defeat at 13-12 down in the third set tiebreaker, and having trailed for most of the set, the Swiss pair rallied one last time to win 21-16, 14-21, 15-13.
"It's unbelievable," Betschart said. "Didn't expect it. We were behind them all the time."
In a match of momentum swings, the Swiss struck first by winning the last four points of the first set to take it 21-16.
The Austrians made their own run midway through the second set, however, turning a 10-10 deadlock into a 14-10 lead that eventually saw them take the set 21-14. They carried that positivity into the final set, winning the first three points.
The Swiss fought back to tie the set at 7-7, then went down 11-8, but came back fighting to level it at 12-12. After Austria won the next point to move within two points of victory, the Swiss made one final run to win the last three points and the gold medal.