David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig had to go the long route, but they managed to become Kings for the second time in their careers after winning Utrecht 2021. In the final there was no doubt as to which team was the best. Brecht Piersma and Wies Bekhuis had one-up on their silver finish in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro of last November, they are Queens for the first time, beating some impressive teams along the way. The King of the Court Crown Series Finals 2022 have delivered very young Queens and Kings, with an average age of just over 20 years old.
Wies Bekhuis and Brecht Piersma are just 21 and 19 years of age respectively. They are Queen of the Court naturals though, with a silver in Rio de Janeiro on their first international tournament together. Now they have won the crown in their second appearance.
They had to fight off fierce opposition in the final. Four former Queens were throwing everything at them. 2022 Hamburg Queen Pleun Ypma was the first to be eliminated from the final, she and Emma Piersma ended up in fifth place. Next to go was the 2021 Utrecht Queen Maria Belén Carro with Ángela Lobato Herrero. In the final round they beat 2021 Hamburg Queen Anouk Vergé-Dépré and her partner Menia Bentele and reigning Doha Queen Isabel Schneider with Julia Sude. The twelve points gathered in the final round was more than enough to secure their first-ever international crown.
The Dutchies were the far better team on the Queen’s side, scoring almost 65 % of rallies there. The team in second place, Vergé-Dépré/Bentele ‘only’ made 57 % for instance. Bentele was the best player of the competition though, leading the way in service (14 aces), attack (55,4 %) and blocks (14). Bekhuis was the best digger with 51 digs to her name.
- Brecht Piersma/Wies Bekhuis
- Anouk Vergé-Dépré/Menia Bentele
- Isabel Schneider/Julia Sude
Longest stay (9 points on the Queen’s side): Isabel Schneider/Julia Sude
David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig (both 21) seem to be made to play King of the Court with their spectacular style of play, earning themselves a second crown in their still short careers. They had to go the long way on the final day, claiming their spot in the final through the semifinal play-off. In the final they were undoubtedly the best team, scoring 22 and 18 points respectively in the first two rounds, that saw Ruben Penninga/Leon Luini and Bartosz Losiak/Michal Bryl leave the stage.
In the final round the jump setting Swedes were on 14 points with 4.40 on the clock, but they didn’t get to make that final point. Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen were on eleven points for quite some time but saw Matthew Immers and USA’s Troy Field (he stepped in for Christiaan Varenhorst, who had to withdraw after the quarterfinals due to injury) pass them in the dying seconds.
Åhman and Hellvig won a staggering 86 % of their rallies on the King’s side, the opposition had no chance today. In the tournament stats Matthew Immers was best, with 8 aces and scoring 60% in attack. David Åhman was the King of defence with 53 digs, Jonatan Hellvig drew as best blocker on 14 with Latvia’s Edgars Tocs.
- David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig
- Matthew Immers/Troy Field
- Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen
Longest stay (12 in a row on the King’s side): David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig.
Aspire Zone delivered once more
For the second year in a row the Aspire Zone in Doha, Qatar hosted the King of the Court Crown Series Finals. A very successful cooperation between Aspire Zone, Qatar Volleyball Association and Dutch-based company Sportworx. The Finals were shown all over the world on television and King of the Court TV. The Kings and Queens were presented with watches by main sponsor Maurice Lacroix. The teams with the longest stays also won Maurice Lacroix watches.