The very first edition of the Dutch National Championship King of the Court was won by Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink. Jasper Bouter and Ruben Penninga completed the men's double, after their national title in regular beach volleyball, they also ascended the throne of King of the Court. The wildcards for the international King of the Court, which will be played in Utrecht from 9 to 12 September, were won by Esmee Priem / Emma Piersma and Dirk Boehlé / Mart van Werkhoven.
What started at 9 am on Sunday with 100+ teams in qualifying ended Sunday afternoon in two spectacular finals. Competing with five teams at the same time on one field, only scoring points on the Kings side, a knockout race against the clock. A lot of excitement, a fast pace and slightly different tactics than in regular beach volleyball.
In the women's tournament, 46 teams took a shot at dominance in the first version of this new sensational form of beach volleyball. After all the preliminary rounds, quarter and semi-finals, five teams had qualified for the final. Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink, Katja Stam and Raïsa Schoon, who earlier in the day had claimed the Dutch title of regular beach volleyball, the sisters Mexime and Emi van Driel, Emma Piersma and Esmee Priem and Annemieke Driessen and Ilke Meertens.
With Keizer / Meppelink, Stam / Schoon and the Van Driel sisters already confirmed for participation in Utrecht, it meant that the battle for the wildcard had already been decided in the first round of the final. Piersma / Priem scored more points than Driessen and Meertens, so the young talents will be present on Jaarbeursplein in September. “Really super cool. We worked very hard for it”, said a very happy Esmee Priem. “In the preliminary round we had a catch-up race at the end. It really feels that we have earned this wild card.”
The third and final round in the final was between Keizer / Meppelink, Stam / Schoon and Piersma / Priem. The losing finalists from earlier that day got their revenge and were the first team to score fifteen points. “We were very determent,” said Madelein Meppelink afterwards. "Extra cool that we are now winning."
Jasper Bouter and Ruben Penninga can call themselves the first team to ever win a "double" in beach volleyball. After defeating Yorick de Groot and Stefan Boermans in the final of regular beach volleyball, they also seized power in the final of King of the Court.
Five finalists emerged from 44 participating teams. Besides Bouter / Penninga, these were Dirk Boehlé and Mart van Werkhoven, Matthew Immers and Leon Luini, Bernard Heijting and Mick Toet and Roel Koper and Gijs van Pruissen.
After the first two rounds, Koper / Pruissen and Immers / Luini had said goodbye. The underdogs Heijting / Toet achieved a creditable four points in the final. Boehlé and Van Werkhoven were stuck at 11. With 13 points, Bouter and Penninga knew that they could add their second national title within a time frame of three hours.
After securing the wildcard, Dirk Boehlé was very pleased for him and his partner. “That wildcard was also a goal for us, it is very nice that we get it, I am very happy with it. It was great fun, tough, but great. The concept is very nice, the audience likes it, everyone is enthusiastic.”
Buy your tickets now
Have you also become enthusiastic about King of the Court? Then quickly buy your skybox in the corona-proof stadium of King of the Court 2020 in Utrecht here