Beach Volleyball

Four spots in the Finals in play in Vilnius and Balikesir

Beach Nations Cup 2024

Article Thu, May 16 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

Four spots (two in each gender) in the CEV Beach Nations Cup 2024 Finals will be in contest over the next few days as the cities of Vilnius, in Lithuania, and Balikesir, in Türkiye, will host pools of the Preliminary Phase of the event from Friday to Sunday.

Paulikiene and Raupelyte will have the support of their home fans this weekend

As many as 19 European nations will be involved in the four pools this week and the winners of each of them will advance to the Beach Nations Cup Finals, which will be held in Jurmala, Latvia, from June 13-16, with the champions in each gender securing a spot at the Paris Olympics.

The women’s Finals already have nine nations confirmed – Latvia, as the host country, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland, as last year’s pool winners, and Ukraine and Spain, who prevailed in this year’s Pools D and C. Two spots will be determined in the tournaments in Vilnius and Balikesir, with the 12th and final berth being allocated to the National Federation with the highest position in the CEV Country Ranking as of June 10th, 2024, among all those finishing as runners-up in the 2024 Preliminary Phase.

On the men’s side, Latvia, as the host country, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, who won their pools at last year’s Beach Nations Cup, and Spain, who topped their pool earlier this week, are guaranteed in the Finals. The last three berths will be awarded over the next few days, going to the winners of the pools in Vilnius, Balikesir and Hamburg, which will host matches from Saturday to Monday.

The Klinger sisters form one of the two Austrian teams entered in the tournament

The women’s event in Vilnius, valid for Pool A, will feature teams from Austria, Estonia, hosts Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Featuring two strong teams in Ronja Klinger/Dorina Klinger and Katharina Schützenhöfer/Lena Plesiutschnig, Austria is expected to strongly challenge the Lithuanian pairs of Monika Paulikiene/Aine Raupelyte and Ieva Dumbauskaite/Ieva Vasiliauskaite for the berth in play.

“We’ll be ready to play at our best level. I think our main opponents in the pool will be Austria and Slovenia, two countries that also have teams competing at the top events of the Beach Pro Tour. We’re really excited to play at home. I think this event will be a big celebration to our country.”

Monika Paulikiene
Lithuanian beach volleyball player

Also competing will be Eva Kuivonen/Liisa-Lotta Jürgenson and Liisa Remmelg/Heleene Hollas for Estonia, Ioana Hododi/Ioana Miu and Adina Stanciu/Ioana-Alexandra Ordean for Romania, Tjasa Kotnik/Tajda Lovsin and Maja Marolt/Živa Javornki for Slovenia and Lubica Siposova/Martina Terenova and Barbora Tokosova/Kristina Harmanova for Slovakia.

CEV Beach Nations Cup – Vilnius

The men’s Pool A in Vilnius will feature teams from Belgium, Croatia, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Ukraine. The host country, which will be represented by Patrikas Stankevicius/Audrius Knasas and Robert Juchnevic/Artur Vasiljev will try to use the support of the home fans to prevail, but will find tough opponents in their way, especially Ukraine, who have last year’s EuroBeachVolley bronze medalist Sergiy Popov paired with Maksym Gladun and the duo of Ivan Datsiuk/Ivan Likhatskyi.

Ukrainian defender Popov will be with a temporary partner this week

Also in action will be Belgium’s Joppe Van Langendonck/Kyan Vercauteren and Gilles Vandecaveye/Louis Vandecaveye, Croatia’s Tin Devald/Josip Pribanic and Jurica Skorin/Hrvoje Zelenika, Gibraltar’s Ernest Gomez/Kyle Moreno and Liam Neish/Mathew Ressa, Greece’s Stavros Ntallas/Dimitrios Chatzinikolaou and Panagiotis Ioannidis/Iason Kanellos and Hungary’s Bence Stréli/Bence Tari and Csanád Petik/Domonkos Dóczi.

In Balikesir, the women will compete in Pool D, having Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Greece and hosts Türkiye battling for a spot in the Finals. The Czechs, who will have Barbora Hermannová/Marie-Sara Stochlova and Katerina Pavelková/Anna Pavelková, and the Fininsh, represented by Taru Lahti-Liukkonen/Niina Ahtiainen and Anniina Parkkinen/Valma Prihti, emerge as the main favorites to finish at the top.  

Hermannová and Stochlova will represent Czechia

Denmark’s team has Charlene Manuella/Sofia Bisgaard and Cecilie Olsen/Frederikke Jensen, Greece’s squad features Eleni Alexoglou/Myrto Paschalaki and Elisavet Triantafillidi/Dimitra Manavi and Türkiye's roster includes Merve Celebi/Nursel Sencel and Merve Nezir/Asli Tecimer.

CEV Beach Nations Cup – Balikesir

The men’s event will also have great balance, with Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia and Türkiye battling in Pool D. Poland have the most experienced team with Piotr Kantor/Jakub Zdybek and Maciej Rudol/Filip Lejawa, but Portugal, with Hugo Campos/João Pedrosa and Gonçalo Sousa/Tomas Sousa, are also real contenders.

“This could be out last opportunity to qualify for Paris, so we need to give our best to make it to the Finals. If we get there, hopefully we can secure a spot in the Games.”

João Pedrosa
Portuguese beach volleyball player
Pedrosa and Campos will lead Portugal in Balikesir

Romania will have Bogdan Bratosin/Valentin Hupoiu and Andrei Grigore/Eduard Popa, Scotland will feature Ross McKelvie/James McHardy and David Mexson/Ben McHardy, Slovakia will send Marek Jany/Dominik Jancok and Lubos Nemec/Adrian Petruf and Türkiye will be represented by Hasan Mermer/Sacit Kurt and Yusuf Özdemir/Batuhan Kuru.

The Beach Nations Cup has a different competition format, promoting ‘country vs. country’ battles. Each nation is represented by two teams and the duels take place in a best-of-three format, with the decider, if needed, being a 15-point golden set.