The Dutch city of The Hague played host last weekend to the first edition of the WEVZA U19 Beach Volleyball Championships. Some of the countries that compose the Western European Volleyball Zonal Association (WEVZA) sent their young, promising teams to the Netherlands for what was also the very first competition held under the umbrella of the youngest European Zonal Association.
The Beach Stadium set up at Scheveningen, a real “Mecca” of Beach Volleyball, was the venue of a tournament held only a couple of days before the FIVB Transavia Grand Slam. The WEVZA Championship was joined by teams from Belgium, Portugal, Spain, and of course also from the Netherlands for two days of exciting matches that in the end crowned the first WEVZA champions in the U19 age group.
The competition was marked by the outstanding performance delivered by the young Beach Volleyball stars on the making, together with the excitement surrounding the almost 40 matches played over the weekend. Spain’s Jimenez/Huerta and Dutch girls Daalderop/Kos were the eventual winners of the gold medals in the boys’ and girls’ competition respectively.
Two teams from Spain played each other in the boys’ final. Jimenez/Huerta eventually beat Huerta/Rojas by 2:1 (21-15, 21-23, 15-13) in a disputed match that was ultimately resolved in an exciting tie-break. The third step of the podium went to home heroes Tom van Steenis and Dustin Bontrop of the Netherlands who won the bronze medal match with their compatriots Ruben Penninga/Jasper Bouter in three sets as well (21-18, 10-21, 15-10).
The girls’ final also ended after three sets with home heroines Nika Daalderop and Susanne Kos edging Spain’s Pascual/Ruiz 21-19, 18-21, and 15-8. Another Spanish team, Querol and Saló, settled for bronze after besting Belgium’s Vandendriesche/Van Dycke in the small final (21-12, 21-18).
The next WEVZA Beach Volleyball Championship is scheduled for August and will see teams from the U21 age group compete for the WEVZA crown in the Portuguese city of Macedo de Carbalo.
The Western European Volleyball Zonal Association is the youngest of the CEV’s five Zonal Associations; it was established last September in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the eve of the XXXIV CEV General Assembly and its affiliated members are the National Federations of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.