Beach Volleyball

Flawless Dutch remain perfect in Vienna


Article Thu, Aug 4 2022
Author: Guilherme Torres

Alexander Brouwer, Robert Meeuwsen, Christiaan Varenhorst and Steven van de Velde showed why the Netherlands is considered one of the strongest nations not only in Europe but in the world when it comes to men’s beach volleyball by completing a perfect pool play campaign in the inaugural A1 CEV BeachVolley Nations Cup in Vienna on Thursday.

Varenhorst and van de Velde won the first duel between Dutch and Austrians

After the conclusion of pool play, the Netherlands and Italy are both guaranteed in the semifinals, which will be played on Saturday. Before that, in Friday’s quarterfinals, Austria will face Poland while Norway meets Estonia.

After winning their duel against Estonia with a pair of straight-set victories on Wednesday, the Dutch quartet, with includes three players who competed at the Olympics and won medals at the World Championship, was challenged to a larger extent by hosts Austria, but still managed to remain unharmed in their path to win Pool B without the need of a golden set or even a set lost.

Varenhorst and van de Velde opened the day with a sound two-set victory against Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz. The result by no means dismantled the electric atmosphere created by the home fans at the Red Bull Beach Arena, but placed Brouwer and Meeuwsen in a comfortable position to face Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller. The Olympic medalists and world champions knew exactly how to capitalize on it, and cruised to another straight-set win.

“This competition format is really special. We practice with Varenhorst and van de Velde every day, but we often play each other and we're very competitive. And this time we're cheering for each other and working together as a four-men team. Having our coach on the sand with us has been really cool too. Playing against Austria at the Red Bull Beach Arena is always special. We had some struggles on the second set, but scored the points we needed at the end and are happy with our performances.”

Alexander Brouwer
Dutch Beach Volleyball Player

In the same pool, Estonia came from behind to defeat the Czech Republic and finish third, also advancing to the quarterfinals. The country dropped the first match of the series, with Dimitriy Korotkov and Kaur Kais, but saw its top team of Mart Tiisaar and Kusti Nolvak beat Jakub Sepka and Tomas Semerad in two sets and Vaclav Bercik and Matyas Dzavoronok in the golden set (15-6) to secure the victory. The Czechs ended their participation in the #BeachNationsCup in seventh place.

Match Results

Pool A’s final had somewhat of an unexpected outcome with Italy sweeping Norway to finish at the top of the standings and move directly to the semifinals. The Italian successful day started with Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi taking Hendrik Mol and Mathias Berntsen down in two sets.

Nicolai tries to block Sørum during the match between Italians and Norwegians

In the following match, Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava stunned reigning Olympic and world champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum with a three-set victory. It was the first time the Beach Volley Vikings lost a match in Vienna after 19 consecutive wins that led them to the titles of last year’s #EuroBeachVolley and two FIVB World Tour events.

“It feels great to have won this match. Everyone knows they’re the team that’s breaking all the records and making history in our sport, so to have the opportunity to play them and to beat them is excellent for our team and helps us in the path that we started this year.”

Paolo Nicolai
Italian Beach Volleyball Player

In the contest for the third place in the pool, Poland benefited from their more experienced squad to handle Germany without the need for a golden set. The Poles had Piotr Kantor and Maciej Rudol defeating Sven Winter and Paul Henning and Michal Bryl and Bartosz Losiak topping Momme Lorenz and Lukas Pfretzschner to eliminate the Germans from contention.