Stam & Schoon earn another Elite16 medal with FIVB Volleyball Empowerment coach support

CEV-FIVB : Infos jeu 30 mai 2024

Stam & Schoon claim Espinho Elite16 bronze with FIVB Volleyball Empowerment coach support

• Kloth & Nuss and Brunner & Huberli take women’s gold and silver in Portugal

• Ahman & Hellvig, Wickler & Ehlers and George & Andre line up on the men’s podium

FIVB Volleyball Empowerment beneficiaries Katja Stam (pictured in the main photo) & Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands claimed the women’s bronze at last week’s Beach Pro Tour Elite16 stop in Espinho, Portugal. USA’s Taryn Kloth & Kristen Nuss topped the podium after defeating Switzerland’s Nina Brunner & Tanja Huberli in the final.

Extending their incredible run of consecutive finals to eight major tournaments, Sweden’s David Ahman & Jonatan Hellvig added yet another gold to their impressive tally. Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers and Brazil’s Andre Stein & George Wanderley completed the men’s podium in Espinho.

Beautiful centre court on Espinho’s Atlantic beach during the women’s final

The Nederlandse Volleybalbond, whose beach duos regularly show themselves as among the best in the world, has so far been allocated a total of CHF 437,000 from the FIVB Volleyball Empowerment programme, of which CHF 144,000 has been allocated for national beach volleyball teams coach support. Their women’s national teams are training under the guidance of Nina te Lintel Hekkert.

Seeded fourth in the women’s main draw, Tokyo 2020 Olympians Stam & Schoon reached the Espinho semifinals on a streak of four consecutive wins, including a 2-1 (17-21, 23-21, 15-9) victory in the Pool D winners’ match against champions-to-be Kloth & Nuss. In the battle for a spot in the final, however, the Dutch pair met the team from the USA again and suffered a 2-0 (22-20, 21-13) loss. They secured their spot on the podium with a convincing 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) sweep of the third place match against qualifiers from Spain, 14th-seeded Daniela Alvarez & Tania Moreno. It was the third Elite16 event in a row, where 25-year-old Stam and 22-year-old Schoon reached the semi-finals. They improved their overall podium count on the Beach Pro Tour to three gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

Ranked number two in the world and seeded fifth in the Espinho main draw, Kloth & Nuss reached their second back-to-back Elite16 final and celebrated their sixth gold and overall 10th medal on the Beach Pro Tour. The bronze medallists of the last FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship conceded only one defeat in seven Espinho matches (the one against Stam & Schoon). Five of their six wins came in straight sets. Only in Sunday’s gold medal showdown, they had to come back from a set down to triumph after a 2-1 (17-21, 28-26, 15-10) victory over reigning European champions Brunner & Huberli.

The Tokyo Olympians from Switzerland, Brunner & Huberli, seeded ninth in Espinho, had a difficult trip to the final. They lost two of their three matches in the pool stage, but then went on a three-game winning streak, crowned by a 2-0 (21-12, 21-19) sweep of their semi-final against Alvarez & Moreno. The Espinho silver was the sixth medal in Brunner & Huberli’s Beach Pro Tour collection.

The Espinho Elite16 2024 women’s podium

In the men;s competition, 22-year-old Ahman & Hellvig, dubbed the Swedish jump-setters, achieved their eighth back-to-back final at major international competitions. The glorious series started in August with the CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship gold and went through the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in Mexico, the 2023 Beach Pro Tour Finals in Doha and the Elite16 events in Hamburg, Joao Pessoa, Doha, Tepic and now Espinho. They have now won six of these eight consecutive finals and their Beach Pro Tour tally has improved to eight gold, three silver and one bronze medals.

In a Pool A game, top-seeded Ahman & Hellvig were upset by Netherlands’ Steven van de Velde & Matthew Immers, but advanced as pool runners-up and never looked back. Four straight-set knockout wins later, the pair from Sweden were on top of the podium. In the semi-finals, they delivered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-11) win over fourth-seeded George & Andre, and in the final, they mastered a 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) victory over sixth-seeded Ehlers & Wickler.

The pair from Germany , Ehlers & Wickler, started with a loss in Espinho, but then went on a five-game winning run, which not only led them to their fourth consecutive Elite16 semifinal, but also further on to their second-ever Beach Pro Tour final, to pick up their second silver and fifth overall medal on the Tour. In the semi-finals, Ehlers & Wickler managed a 2-1 (21-14, 19-21, 15-13) victory over eighth-seeded Van de Velde & Immers.

George & Andre secured their spot on the podium after a hard-fought 2-0 (21-15, 30-28) win over the team from the Netherlands for the bronze. They now have 11 medals in their Beach Pro Tour showcase.

The Espinho Elite16 2024 men’s podium

28 men’s and 28 women’s teams representing a total of 24 different countries took part in the Espinho Elite16. This week the Beach Pro Tour visits Stare Jablonki in Poland for a Challenge event from 30 May to 2 June, while the next Elite16 stop and the final event bringing Olympic ranking points towards qualification for Paris 2024 is in Ostrava, Czechia from 5 to 9 June.

Espinho Elite16: results and standings

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