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2018-08-01 12:44:00 CEST

Dutch hoping to build on Euro title

Meppelink and Keizer want to keep progressing at the Vienna Major

Meppelink and Keizer debuted in Vienna with a victory over Stockman and LarsenMeppelink and Keizer debuted in Vienna with a victory over Stockman and Larsen

Dutchwomen Madelein Meppelink and Sanne Keizer saw their season turn around two weeks ago, when they won the 2018 edition of the European Championships in their home soil of the Hague. Still infected by the energy of their victory, the veterans debuted in great fashion in the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.

Keizer and Meppelink defeated American qualifiers Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman in two sets (21-18, 21-15) in the opening match of Pool A. The Europeans are still living under the emotions of their historical victory and are hopeful that their good form will translate in to another good result at the Danube Island.

“It’s an early victory that we didn’t expect,” Keizer commented. “But we worked hard and it was our week. It was great to achieve that in our country. It just gives our team a boost, especially for this week as it is another very big and important tournament for us.”

Beach Volleyball Major Series on Twitter

Beach team Meppelink/Keizer on #winning their first match. 💪💪💪 #viennamajor #beachmajorseries @M_Meppelink @sannekeizer @FIVBVolleyball @nlbeachvolley

The European title was just their second podium appearance since they joined forces in the start of the season – they won silver at World Tour three-star event in Mersin in May. The team, which has been together in the last 11 international events, just hopes that they can build from their continental gold medal to establish themselves in the beach volleyball elite.

“It was of course a very important victory for our team, but we know we still have a lot to improve,” Meppelink added. “We have a long way until Tokyo and our goal is to improve game-by-game. Having such a big victory just confirms that we made the right choice about our partnership, but at the same time we know we still have a lot of work to do to get to the top, where we want to be.”

The Dutch will have a good opportunity to see where they are at in the global stage this Wednesday, when they play Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, who won the Swatch Major Gstaad one week before the Europeans Championships and are the top-seeded team in Vienna.

The winner of the match will finish first on Pool A and will get a straight pass to the Round of 16 and a day off on Thursday, while the loser will be sent to the Round of 24.

“We know they’re a very good team and we’ll have to battle,” Meppelink reflected. “We never played them before, so that’s interesting to have a new challenge.  We want to play our best game and hopefully we can win.”

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