18/07/2018 22:58
Brouwer/Meeuwsen ignite ‘orange fiesta’ in The Hague
2018 CEV DELA Beach Volleyball European Championship

The Hague, The Netherlands, July 18, 2018. Home stars Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen were responsible for a true ‘orange fiesta’ on Wednesday night in The Hague – as they stormed to a comprehensive 21-16, 21-12 victory over Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle of Belgium before an almost sell-out crowd at Sportcampus Zuiderpark.

This matchup was a repeat of last year’s bronze medal game in Jurmala – where Brouwer and Meeuwsen had emerged victorious to secure the first #EuroBeachVolley medal of their careers. Brouwer and Meeuwsen, however, had something to make up for since they had looked a bit rusty in their opening match on Monday against Turkey’s Murat Giginoglu and Volkan Gögtepe.

Enthusiastic Dutch fans on Wednesday night in The Hague

Their performance on Wednesday, however, was worthy of their status – they are indeed the 2013 world champions and 2016 Olympic bronze medal winners. Brouwer and Meeuwsen delivered a truly impressive show of strength and it looked like the support of a raucous home crowd did obviously provide a further boost of energy – as they openly acknowledged in their post-match interviews. Despite dissipating an early 3-0 lead, they simply outclassed their opponents in the second set, with Meeuwsen’s monster blocks and Brouwer’s overall solid performance producing a straightforward 21-16, 21-12 victory.

On Thursday, they ‘golden boys’ of Dutch Beach Volleyball will complete their duties in pool play with a matchup against Polish outsiders Maciej Rudol and Kacper Kujawiak – a late entry after last week’s withdrawal of Germany’s top team Markus Böckermann and Lars Flüggen.

Lehtonen/Ahtiainen and Bloem/Sinnema complete hat trick of wins in women’s pool play

After starting their #EuroBeachVolley campaign with two straight victories on Tuesday, Riikka Lehtonen and Niina Ahtiainen of Finland added another one to their tally in The Hague – as they caused a major upset after edging last year’s silver medal winners Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova of Czech Republic (12-21, 21-19, 15-12). The Finns, 17 year apart in terms of their age, recovered from a disastrous opening set to secure first place in Pool F and progress straight to the Round of 16.

Kolocova/Kvapilova finished pool play in second place and moved on to the first round of the elimination stage together with third-place finishers Aleksandra Gromadowska and Jagoda Gruszczynska of Poland, who rebounded from two straight losses to claim a dramatic 21-18, 15-21, 17-15 victory over Russia’s Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Mastikova. In the next round of the competition, Kolocova/Kvapilova will play Russia’s Evgenia Ukolova/Ekaterina Birlova in a matchup featuring the 2017 and 2015 #EuroBeachVolley silver medallists.

Dutch power on display in The Hague as Jolien Sinnema and Laura Bloem celebrate their third straight victory at #EuroBeachVolley

In Pool C, home stars Jolien Sinnema and Laura Bloem did not drop a single set in three matches – much to the delight of the ‘orange crowd’ in attendance. On Wednesday, they completed their duties in the pool phase with another dominant display as they beat Switzerland’s Nicole Eiholzer and Elena Steinemann 22-20, 21-16. Eiholzer/Steinemann leave the tournament after three straight setbacks – while their countrywomen Zoé and Anouk Vergé-Dépré are still in the competition despite clearly losing to Ukraine’s Valentina Davidova and Ievgeniia Shchypkova (16-21, 18-21) their last match in the pool. Zoé and Anouk are contesting this tournament together only following the late withdrawal – due to injury – of Anouk’s regular partner, Joana Heidrich. Davidova/Shchypkova will take on Gromadowska/Gruszczynska in the first elimination round in Utrecht while the Vergé-Dépré sisters will play Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini in Rotterdam.

This is how the competition is due to continue in the elimination phase following the Drawing of Lots held on Wednesday night in The Hague:

(click on the image to enlarge)

Click here for further information.

News nr. 14 of 43
19/07/2018 21:06:00
Ukolova is back for good after memorable day at #EuroBeachVolley
18/07/2018 22:45:00
Reigning champions suffer defeat at the hands of carefree Beeler/Krattiger in Utrecht

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