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Sights on the semis on rainy Friday at Queen & King of the Court Utrecht

Utrecht, the Netherlands |

As rain poured down on the players, referees and court crew, we witnessed some of the best King of the Court beach volleyball ever seen. The fans in the BetCity Arena appreciated the spectacle, atmosphere was through the roof once more. The world and Olympic champions delivered on their promise once more, the Swiss seem strong on the women’s side. And Ukraine still has three teams left in competition. The quest for the crowns isn’t over yet!

The winners take all 5-minute play-offs caused for serious stress on Friday afternoon. Five teams playing, only three spots left in the quarterfinals. We played three rounds of five minutes, winners move on.

In the women’s play-off Davidova and Baieva (UKR) drew first blood and advanced to the quarterfinals. They were joined by Danish youngsters Windeleff/Bisgaard and Slovenian Kotnik/Lovsin. In the men’s the Dutchies Mart van Werkhoven and Matthew Immers ran away to 10 points. England’s Bialokoz/Batrane and Markus Mol/Svein Solhaug made the most of their final opportunity.

Men
Directly on from the play-off Van Werkhoven and Immers continued in great form, winning the golden ball, and moving on to the semis in style. Biggest surprise in the first quarterfinal was Estonian silver medalists from Hamburg out to the playoffs. France’s Arnaud Gauthier-Rat/Youssef Krou and Beach Volley Vikings Mathias Berntsen/Hendrik Mol also secured a spot in the semifinals.

Second quarterfinal made for an excellent show. Varenhorst/Penninga and Wickler/Sagstetter were throwing everything at reigning Utrecht Kings Åhman/Hellvig, but the Swedish 20-year-olds still managed to win the golden ball. Markus Mol and his partner Svein Solhaug will have to play tomorrow’s play-off for one final place in the semis.

World and Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum gave their fans kind of a scare as they were on 0 points with only a few minutes left on the clock. But they remained calm as only Vikings can, it’s Viking mentality. They actually won the round. Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen and Ukranian hopefuls Popov/Reznik join them

Women
The Danish girls had a similar route as the Van Werkhoven and Immers, they are among the final ten teams in the competition. They didn’t win their pool though, Ukranian twin sisters Inna and Iryna Makhno were on great form again. Joining them in the semis are Swiss Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Menia Bentele. Queen of the Court strongholds Placette/Richard (FRA) have to battle in the play-off Saturday afternoon.

Also in the play-off are Norway’s Sunniva Helland-Hansen and Emilie Olimstad. Dutch Hamburg Queens Ypma/Van Driel won the pool, German couple for the occasion Chantal Laboureur and Karla Borger and Ukranian Davidova/Baieva have also made it to the penultimate stage.

One of the biggest upsets for the Dutch crowd was the fact Katja Stam and Raïsa Schoon were out second in their group, meaning they’ll have to fight in Saturday’s play-off as well. Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli on their second golden ball, seeing them through to the semis as one of the favorites.

Saturday, semifinal day
We’ll start Saturday off at 16.00 with the quarterfinal playoffs, where one team can earn a spot in the semis. Then we’re up for the semifinals as we draw ever closer to the moment of crowning our first European Queens and Kings. Check out the line-up here.