Agadir, Morocco - challenge - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News


Boermans' blocking power helped the Dutch win the gold medal match in dominant fashion

Stefan Boermans and Matthew Immers made of the Netherlands the first country to win a Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour event in both genders with their victory at the Agadir Challenge on Sunday, in Morocco, where the two joined compatriots Emma Piersma and Mexime van Driel, the winners of the women’s tournament, at the top of the podium.

The Dutch came out on top in the all-European gold medal match in Agadir, topping Norwegians Hendrik Mol and Mathias Berntsen in straight sets (21-13, 21-8). Swiss pair Marco Krattiger and Florian Breer finished third in the tournament.

· Watch all the matches at the Agadir Challenge on Volleyball TV.

Boermans, 27, and Immers, 21, joined forces in June because of an injury to Boermans’ regular partner Yorick de Groot. The two had ninth-place finishes at the Gstaad Elite16 and the Espinho Challenge as their best results entering the tournament in Morocco, but with six consecutive wins and just two sets dropped, they secured their first gold as partners in Agadir.

“We came here straight from Espinho and trained on Monday because we wanted to adapt to the weather,” Boermans commented. “It’s been an amazing trip for us. We lost a few sets, but we won all matches and now we’re here. It’s incredible, this is just our fourth international tournament together. Let’s see what’s out there for us in the remainder of the season.”

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The Dutch were dominant in the gold medal match and gave the Norwegians no chance from the start. They began the opening set on an excellent rhythm and quickly built a 5-2 lead. With Boermans dominating the net, the Dutch relied on three blocks from him to improve their lead to 15-9. In the end, another stop from the 2.04m-tall blocker gave them the 21-13 win.

Their second-set performance was even more dominant. After scoring the first three points of the set, the Dutch found themselves with an 11-5 lead after Immers hit in transition. Boermans found his rhythm shortly after that and, with two blocks and one ace, set his team up to victory at 19-7. His tenth block point in the match brought it to an end with a 21-8 win.

In the bronze medal match, Krattiger and Breer came from behind to overcome Australians Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett in three sets (19-21, 21-15, 15-10) and secure their first podium appearance in the Beach Pro Tour's inaugural season.

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The next Beach Pro Tour Challenge tournament will also take place in Africa with the Red Sea, in Egypt, set to host an event from October 5-8. Before that, Elite16 events will be held in Hamburg, Germany, from August 10-14, and Paris, France, from September 28-October 2.