Beach Volleyball

2023 EuroBeachVolleyW: Top Moments

Article Sat, Dec 30 2023
Author: Victoria Georgieva

The summer of 2023 had it all! Including the ultimate Beach Volleyball party at the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley that took place from August 2 to 6 in Vienna, featuring 32 teams per gender, reuniting three Olympic champions, five world champions, 16 European champions, ten Olympic medallists and 32 Olympians (a total of 128 players from 19 countries).

With the action happening in a special setting - on Vienna’s iconic Danube island, the best Beach Volleyball players from across the continent gathered in Austria’s capital to give an answer to the question who the best in Europe are. Playing on the Danube island positioned EuroBeachVolley next to other major events such as the 2017 World Championships, and the 2018 and 2019 Majors.

But what were the top moments on the women’s side of the competition?

Latvia's Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova

The Big Hopes 

Latvia’s Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova were hoping for their third EuroBeachVolley crown after grabbing the title in Moscow in 2019 and in Munich in 2022 as well. Had they succeeded, they would have become the second women’s team to win three different editions of the tournament, together with the Italians Laura Bruschini and Annamaria Solazzi (1997, 1999 and 2000). 

Germany’s strong teams were considered a big challenge for each opponent. Represented by four teams, including former European, World and Olympic champion Laura Ludwig who returned to the competition after the birth of her second child, this time in tandem with Louisa Lippmann, the German had big hopes for reaching the podium.

The Swiss teams also had big ambitions: Tanja Hüberli/Nina Brunner were hoping to repeat their success from the 2021 edition held in Vienna as well (which eventually they did).  

The Surprises 

Starting from the opening day at the 2023 A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley, the fans of the sport witnessed some big surprises. 

One of the youngest teams, the Dutch Brecht Piersma and Emi van Driel, who played together for a first time, stunned Swiss Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré, the bronze medallists of the Tokyo Olympics, with a two-set victory in the ‘pool E final’.

Meanwhile, the biggest surprise came from Pool G, where the Ukrainians Valentyna Davidova and Ievgeniia Baieva upset the by then reigning European champions Graudina and Samoilova with a two-set win in the first round.

Spain's Daniela Álvarez and Tania Moreno

The Latvians’ attempt to defend their continental title came to an end when the Spanish sensations when the Spanish sensations Daniela Álvarez and Tania Moreno outclassed them in the Round of 16. 

The New Faces 

The 23-year-old Lithuanian blocker Aine Raupelyte called the attention. Standing at 197cm tall, she was the tallest player competing at Europe’s Top Beach Volleyball Competition. Born in a basketball family, she took up on the sport when she was 17. Although she didn’t have the best start, she was noticed by one of Lithuania’s most accomplished players, 28-year-old Monika Paulikiene, and the two started recording successes.

The Legend

An Olympic and world champion, the German star Laura Ludwig was most definitely the walking legend at the competition.

Laura Ludwid (1) in action

A four-time Olympian, the 37-year-old Ludwig is the most successful player in the history of the EuroBeachVolley, as she has ten medals won (four gold, two silver, four bronze) in 15 appearances. 

In the 2023 edition of the EuroBeachVolley, she and her partner Louisa Lippmann defeated Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré of Switzerland in the tie-breaker for the bronze.

Switzerland's Brunner and Hüberli celebrating

The Champions 

The Swiss, Brunner and Hüberli sezied the goal by winning the gold at the 2023 #EuroBeachVolleyW as Vienna turned out to be their lucky place (they won their first European title in 2021 when the tournament was held in the Austrian capital as well).

In the Big Finale, they played against the Spanish Moreno/Álvarez and grabbed the trophy in two sets in front of fully packed Red Bull Beach Arena. 

On the other hand, the second place by Moreno and Álvarez was a significant one for the Spanish Beach Volleyball movement, as it was the first time since Moscow 2019 when Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernández took bronze.

Looking forward to an exciting 2024 Beach Volleyball Year? 

Stay tuned!