Arvaniti-Tsiartsiani improve

Greek beach volleyball pair Vicky Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani played in their first FIVB World Tour final in Marseilles on Sunday, but ended up being the losing side. After veteran Vasso Karadassiou decided to end her career last autumn, Arvaniti was paired up with Tsiartsiani, but they had enjoyed little success at an international level until last weekend. They were seeded at number 20 for the Marseilles tournament, yet the two Greeks managed to reach the final. On Sunday they faced American pair Jen Kessy and April Ross, who were third-seeded. The US duo won 2-0 (21-16, 23-21) to claim the gold medal, leaving the Greeks with silver. «The American team proved too strong opponents. We are very happy with our overall performance in this tournament, as we played excellent beach volleyball from start to finish and we never fell below the standards we had set,» said Arvaniti. Greek team coach Panayiotis Zakynthinos stated that «the girls had an amazing tournament and showed their real abilities. The point now is to maintain this high level.»