Lausanne, Switzerland, December 15, 2016 – Two-time Olympians Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel have reunited after the beach volleyball pair split in 2013.
The duo successfully played together from 2011 to 2013 and are the only Dutch women’s team to ever win a Grand Slam. Meppelink/van Gestel bagged the gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam in Corrientes, Argentina in 2013. Prior to this victory, they finished ninth overall at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I’m looking forward to our renewed cooperation,” Meppelink said. “Sophie and I know each other through and through. We always were a good team. After Sophie took a sabbatical from beach volleyball in 2013, we stayed friends. We expect to compete at the highest level very fast and we’re looking forward to the first matches of the new season. Sophie is one of the most skilled defenders in the world. Almost nobody can dig like her.”
“The game of beach volleyball is so addictive and cool that I want to keep on playing,” van Gestel said. “Madelein is a world-class player. Hopefully we can catch up with the best teams in the world very soon.”
Meppelink recently played with Marleen van Iersel, while van Gestel played with Jantine Van der Vlist. After the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the two Dutch pairs decided to follow a new path; van Iersel announced that she would partner with volleyball star Manon Flier-Nummerdor and Van der Vlist announced her retirement from professional beach volleyball.