The line-up for the finals is almost definite, 8 out of 10 teams have secured their spot on Saturday night in the BetCity Arena on the Jaarbeursplein in Utrecht during CEV Queen & King of the Court European Finals 2022. Two Norwegian men’s teams are through, two Swiss teams in the women’s draw. Those countries won the inaugural Nations Cup earlier this summer, proving they are the ones to beat. Host the Netherlands lost all of their women’s teams, two men’s are in the play-off, Varenhorst and Penninga have reached the final. Sunday’s finals will be hectic as the first-ever Queens and Kings of Europe will be crowned.
The home crowd was present for Katja Stam and Raïsa Schoon to make it to the semifinals. In the 15-minute one-round play-off they were faced with two excellent Queen of the Court teams: Placette/Richard (FRA) and Helland-Hansen/Olimstad from Norway. The Dutch fell short, despite a last-minute comeback. The Norwegian women claimed the final semifinal spot.
Mart Tiisaar and Kusti Nõlvak made sure they were best in their play-off, they deserved a spot in the semis, only to be ousted again towards the play-offs of Sunday that will determine who joins the final as fifth.
Switzerland’s Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Menia Bentele had a field day in semifinal A, winning both second and third round by a large margin. They’re joined in the final by the big surprise of the tournament, Lithuanians Ieva Dumbauskaite and Gerda Grudzinskaite who came all the way from the qualification round. Also coming from qualifying are the Makhno twins and Windeleff/Bisgaard, they’ll have to battle for a final chance in the play-off.
Dutch hopes were crushed in the first round of the second semifinal on the women’s side. Hamburg Queens and home team Pleun Ypma and Emi van Driel didn’t get passed 2 points which wasn’t enough to proceed, showing once more that even Queens aren’t safe from elimination. Brunner and Hüberli relegated their opponents to bystanders by scoring 21 in the final round. Kotnik and Lovsin from Slovenia made the final on their second try at Queen of the Court.
The concept for Saturday’s semifinals is clear for the players, make it to the top-2 and you will appear in the first-ever final of Queen & King of the Court. The men’s first semifinal had a line-up that was off the charts. Reigning world and Olympic champions, European champions, a Hamburg King, Hamburg silver medalists and Dutch Matthew Immers and Mart van Werkhoven. The plays were amazing, it was the Scandinavian duos that ruled. Anders Mol/Christian Sørum (NOR) and Åhman/Hellvig secured their place in Sunday’s final, Estonians Nõlvak/Tiisaar and Immers/Van Werkhoven will fight in the play-off.
Ukranian high tower Eduard Reznik and his partner Sergiy Popov couldn’t add one more excellent performance to their run in Utrecht, they’re out of the tournament. The battle for the two remaining direct places in the final was contested by France, Norway, and the Dutchies Christiaan Varenhorst/Ruben Penninga. At that point Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen were condemned to find their route to the final in Sunday’s play-off.
Hendrik Mol joins his brother Anders in the final, he won the final round with Mathias Berntsen on 11 points. Varenhorst and Penninga held their nerves, scoring 9 to claim the fourth spot in the final. Krou/Gauthier-Rat will have to go through the play-off to be played at 18.30 Sunday night.
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The final day of CEV Queen & King of the Court European Finals 2022 in Utrecht starts at 18.00. The Queens and Kings will be crowned around 21.30. Join us on EuroVolley.tv for the royal experience of a lifetime.