The sensations of the 2023 EuroBeachVolley


Article Tue, Aug 8 2023
Author: Guilherme Torres

The 2023 edition of the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley ended on Sunday after five days of elite-level beach volleyball at the iconic Danube Island, in Vienna, which featured the very best teams on the continent.

Popov and Reznik gave Ukraine their first medal on the EuroBeachVolley

Although both men’s champions David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden and women’s winners Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli of Switzerland were among the favorites heading into the event and had already won the EuroBeachVolley in the last two years, it’s fair to say this year’s edition of the tournament was marked by the numerous surprises.

Several countries reached unprecedented success on the EuroBeachVolley in 2023 and, because of that, a handful of favorites had to say goodbye to the race for the title much earlier than they expected.

Here are some of the teams that were among the sensations of the EuroBeachVolley 2023:

Luini/De Groot

Imagine finding out that your partner would have to sit out of the main tournament of the year just four days before its start, that you’d be playing with an athlete with the same skill set as yours and that the new team would have just one training session before its debut. Pretty challenging, huh? Dutch Leon Luini and Yorick de Groot were faced with all of that and did just fine in Vienna, advancing all the way to the gold medal match, where they fell to Åhman and Hellvig. Each of the two embraced its own share of sacrifices, with Luini playing as a blocker and De Groot moving to the right and the Dutch had one of the most spectacular campaigns in the event, stunning reigning Olympic and world champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway in the quarterfinals.

Luin and de Groot eliminated Anders Mol and Christian Sørum


Up-and-coming Spaniards Daniela Álvarez and Tania Moreno had made it to the semifinals of the 2022 EuroBeachVolley, so seeing them on the Final Four again was not exactly surprising, but actually a confirmation that they truly belong among the elite of the continent. The 21-year-olds had three-straight major victories in Vienna, knocking out defending champions Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova of Latvia, Italian stars Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi and Swiss Olympic medalists Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré on their way to the gold medal match at the Red Bull Beach Arena and it’s hard to imagine a bracket as hard as the one they had to face. With them, the question was always if they would be able to juggle the college commitments in the United States and the demands of the exhausting international season and the answer looks more like a ‘yes’ every time they get on the court.

Álvarez and Moreno were again on the semifinals and this time took bronze


The fact that Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik had the resilience to compete with the best teams in the continent when their country goes through a very difficult moment already speaks volumes about them, but the Ukrainians went above and beyond in Vienna, gifting their compatriots with the country’s first-ever medal on the EuroBeachVolley, finishing third. The 32-year-old Popov has been respected as one of the top defenders in the continent for quite some time now and, after a few years struggling to find a blocker up to his level, has hit the jackpot with the 2.08m-tall Reznik. The two were fearless over the week in the Austrian capital, played with their hearts and were deservedly proud when they stood at the podium after starring in the biggest moment of Ukrainian beach volleyball to date.


Laura Ludwig earned her tenth EuroBeachVolley medal last week in Vienna, but seeing the winningest player in the tournament’s history step on the podium wasn’t really unexpected, even if it was the first time since 2016 she did it – after all, we all know what she’s capable of doing after giving birth to two kids since then. Louisa Lippmann was the big sensation in that team as she had undoubtedly the best performances in her still young beach career over the week at the Danube Island, easily led the blocking stats with 25 stuffs and was rewarded with her first medal as a beach volleyball player. After one year, it looks like the former volleyball star is beginning to scratch her potential on the sand and paired with a unique talent such as Ludwig, there’s really nothing these two can’t accomplish together.


There weren’t many expectations surrounding the English Bello twins Javier and Joaquin when they entered the court for their first EuroBeachVolley appearance in Vienna, but whatever those were, they certainly surpassed them with their fifth-place finish. The 23-year-olds had been showing great improvement over the last two years, getting good results at lower-lever events, but were yet to be tasted on the big stage – which they did, and passed with flying colors in Vienna. It was clear from the start, when they lost a very close match to Spanish stars Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira in pool play, that the Bellos could be ready for their breakthrough and that happened on Friday, when in a span of just a few hours they topped the experienced home team of Robin Seidl and Moritz Pristauz in a packed Red Bull Beach Arena and stunned Dutch Olympic medalists Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen.

Javier and Joaquin Bello had two big wins on Friday in Vienna


 The Lithuanians were somewhat of a similar story to the Ukrainians in the sense that Monika Paulikiene is an established defender in the continent who seems to have found the perfect partner in Aine Raupelyte. Their fifth-place finish was obviously excellent but perhaps didn’t make justice to a campaign that included victories over Spanish veterans Paula Soria and Liliana Fernández, Czech stars Barbora Hermannová and Marie-Sara Štochlová and two-time EuroBeachVolley medalists Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam. The Lithuanians made history in Vienna and will likely just continue to get better as the 23-year-old, 1.97m-tall Raupelyte keeps developing her game.

Paulikiene and Raupelyte stunned Dutch Olympians Schoon and Stam