The Hague, The Netherlands June 9, 2017 - The FIVB World Tour returns to The Netherlands this coming week for a US$150,000 event to be played at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark as the men’s and women’s Beach Volleyball tournament will be part of schedule that also features FIVB World League play.
With Beach Volleyball play starting Wednesday with qualification followed by four days of Main Draw action, the FIVB World League competition will feature host The Netherlands, Korea, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in Pool I2. It marks the first-time a Beach Volleyball World Tour stop and the Volleyball World League event have been played simultaneously at the same venue.
As the host country for the FIVB World Tour event, The Netherlands has already placed three men’s and three women’s teams in Beach Volleyball “money” rounds. Men’s Main Draw teams for the Dutch will be Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Maarten Van Garderen/Christiaan Varenhorst and Mees Blom/Ruben Penninga.
Women’s entrants in the “money” rounds are Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink, Manon Nummerdor-Flier/Marleen Van Iersel and Jolien Sinnema/Joy Stubbe. Jannes van der Ham/Sven Vismans and Raisa Schoon/Emi van Driel are scheduled to compete for the Netherlands in the men's and women's qualification tournaments, respectively.
With a projected 160 Beach Volleyball matches for men and women next week, a total of six FIVB World League matches will be played at the 3,000 seat Sportcampus Zuiderpark, a multifunctional sports and education center. FIVB World Tour and World League activities will be the first international sporting event to take place at the new venue, which is also the new training center for the Dutch federation's Beach Volleyball program.
FIVB President Dr. Ary Graça F° said in late December that ”the Netherlands Volleyball Federation once again continues to innovate and inspire by hosting Beach Volleyball and Volleyball events in a dynamic fashion. "Innovation and opportunities is the FIVB mantra and this multi-sport event in The Hague is a perfect example. Having two of the FIVB´s top properties - the FIVB World Tour and the FIVB World League - playing together at the same time will give volleyball fans a unique chance and environment to experience the best of volleyball and beach volleyball. It surely is an opportunity not to be missed"
Next week’s FIVB World Tour event marks the seventh-time that The Hague has hosted the world’s “elite” Beach Volleyball players and the first since staging the 2015 FIVB World Championships. The 2015 event mark the first-time in Beach Volleyball world championship history that four sites (Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Rotterdam and The Hague) were used for the preliminary rounds.
After three rounds of pool play and three rounds of elimination bracket action, The Hague hosted the semi-finals and medal matches at the FIVB World Championships where Brazilians captured both gold medals. Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt defeated host country favorites Reinder Nummerdor and Varenhorst for the men’s title while Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas defeated Fernanda Alves and Taiana Lima in the All-Brazilian women’s finale.
While Alison and Bruno take nex weekend off from the international circuit next week, Agatha and Barbara will return to The Hague, but with different partners. Agatha is playing with 18-year old wunderkind Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa while Barbara is paired with Fernanda. Both have won gold medals on the FIVB World Tour this season with Barbara and Fernanda topping the podium at a mid-April stop in Xiamen China., while Agatha and Duda captured gold in mid-May in Rio de Janeiro.
With the Beach Volleyball finales set for June 18 where the winning teams per gender will share the $10,000 first-place prizes, Beach Volleyball power Brazil has won all the women’s gold medals in the previous six stops in The Hague along with three of the six men’s titles. Dutchmen Nummerdor and Richard Schuill captured the inaugural title in 2009 with Americans Casey Jennings/Kevin Wong and Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel topping the podium in 2010 and 2014, respectively.
In addition to Alison/Bruno and Agatha/Barbara, other Brazilian gold medal winners in The Hague have been Juliana/Larissa Franca in 2009, Antonelli/Talita Antunes in 2010, Pedro Cunha/Ricardo Santos and Juliana/Larissa is 2011, Pedro/Bruno and Lima/Talita in 2013 and Fernanda/Lima in 2014.
The Hague 2014 gold medal winners Mariusz Pudel/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland and Taiana Lima/Fernanda Alves of Brazil with tournament directdor Bas van der Goor.
Following The Hague stop, the seventh double gender stop on the 2017 FIVB World Tour calendar, the international circuit takes a week off before resuming play with SWATCH Major Series stops in Croatia (Porec, June 27-July 2) and Switzerland (Gstaad, July 4-9).
Highlighting the 2017 international calendar for men and women Beach Volleyball players will be the $1-million FIVB World Championships July 28 through August 6 in Vienna, Austria and the $800,000 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals August 23-27 in Hamburg, Germany. Overall, there are 15 men’s and 19 women’s events on the $5.335-million FIVB World Tour schedule.