Aalsmeer, Netherlands, October 24, 2017 – The 2018 season of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is set to continue with an indoor event at The Beach Center in Aalsmeer. This double-gender one-star tournament scheduled to take place from October 25 through 29, 2017 follows the seven events that the Netherlands have hosted in the history of the World Tour, but is the first ever in Aalsmeer.
A total of 73 teams (40 men’s and 33 women’s pairs) from 24 different national federations have registered to take part in the $20,000 tournament in the Flower Capital of the World. In each gender, a 16-team single-elimination format will be applied, following the qualifications to be played on Wednesday for women and men and on Wednesday and Thursday for the men.
Joy Stubbe and Madelein Meppelink, representing the host country, are leading the line-up of 12 pairs qualified directly into the women’s main draw by entry points. 20-year-old Stubbe, 2016 U20 European champion, and the far more experienced two-time Olympian Meppelink, gold medal winner at the 2013 Corrientes Grand Slam, will make their first World Tour appearance as partners.
Next in the ranking order are USA’s Emily Stockman and Kimberly DiCello. They already have one gold medal from a one-star tournament earlier this year as they won the event in Langkawi in April.
The third best ranked team in the women’s main draw line-up for Aalsmeer are Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami, winners of the 2017 Daegu one-star event in July, their only medal on the World Tour.
Three more pairs from the Netherlands, one more from USA and one each from Germany, Norway, Romania, Spain and France complete the list. Four more duos will emerge from Wednesday’s qualifications to fill in the remaining main draw vacancies.
Norway’s Daniel Bergerud and Svein Oddmund Solhaug top the men’s line-up for the Aalsmeer main draw. While Solhaug already has one best-four finish on the World Tour, from the 2017 Espinho two-star event in July, as well as a fifth place from September’s Montpellier one-star with the 2018 World Tour season already running, Bergerud’s best ever result on the Tour are 17th-place finishes at the 2015 Sochi Open and the 2016 Fuzhou Open.
Austria’s Florian Schnetzer, who earned his first World Tour medal, a Langkawi silver, earlier this year, will be teaming up with Daniel Muellner in Aalsmeer. This pair took part in both World Tour events on the 2018 calendar so far, finishing fifth at the Montpellier one-star and 17th at the Qinzhou three-star. They are ranked second by entry points in the men’s main draw.
France’s Maxime Thiercy and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat are next in line. These two made their international debut as a team earlier this month, as they won bronze at the CEV Satellite in Baku. For each of these young French players, the best finish on the World Tour is a ninth place.
Four Dutch pairs are going directly into the men’s main draw in Aalsmeer. The remaining five duos come from Serbia, Italy, England, France and Austria. Twelve other teams will be taking part in the qualification tournament on Wednesday and Thursday. After two rounds, four of them will join the main draw starting on Friday.