Dutchmen claim "Surf City USA" beach volleyball gold


Winning trophies & $20,000 in "Surf City USA" at the men's Huntington Beach Open are Robert Meeuwsen (left) and Alexander Brouwer

Huntington Beach, USA, May 6, 2018 - Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen topped the men's podium here on Sunday at the $300,000 Huntington Beach Open as the Dutch pair posted a two-set beach volleyball win over reigning FIVB world champions Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola of Brazil.

The 2013 FIVB world champions and bronze medal winners at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, seventh-seeded Brouwer and Meeuwsen scored a 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) win in 36 minutes over the second-seeded Evandro and Loyola. With the win, the Dutch shared the $20,000 first-place prize as Brouwer and Meeuwsen netted their second gold medal this season and their sixth overall on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

With the Huntington Beach Open being the first-ever FIVB World Tour final between the two World Championship pairs, Evandro and Loyola split $16,000 for placing second. The match was also the 12th FIVB World Tour gold medal match between the two countries with the series now tied 6-6.

In the men's bronze medal finale, 12th-seeded Adrian Gavira and Pedro Herrera of Spain netted the third-place prize of $10,000 with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-17) victory in 42 minutes over ninth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia.  With the win, the Spaniards snapped a three-game losing streak to Samoilovs and Smedins, who still hold a 6-4 edge in the FIVB series with Gavira and Herrera.

Here are post-match gold medal quotes from the Dutch and Brazilians.

Alex Brouwer, Netherlands: "That was important and that worked out really well. You can see in beach volleyball these days, service pressure is such an important thing. We have so many tall guys that if you bring them in perfect position at the net they crush everything. So the serve is more and more important and I’m happy in this final we showed this. Man, my legs, you don’t want to be in my place right now. I think I’m going to need help stepping up on the podium. Yeah, nine matches it’s not easy but luckily we had wings in this final. We’re both the kind of guys if we have tough situations as a partnership we like the challenges and we like to confront them, talk about it and work on it. Together with the coaches who are doing a great job. If you win in beach volleyball, it’s the best thing in the world."

Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands: "It was crazy. We know (Evandro) has a great serve and he made some errors today but also the ones he did serve well we received them pretty good. That’s making a big difference, he’s not getting any rhythm at all and we kept serving them so hard and the pressure’s all on them the whole game and I think that made the biggest difference. The tournament was so up and down. We didn’t start well at all, we lost the second match and we had some good conversations about that and changed some things but we really knew how we wanted to play. It’s a lot and three games a day is a lot but we knew we were fit and strong and could handle that. Now we played nine games this tournament and it feels good. It’s really great. Now is the first time we were allowed to play here. I hope we get a lot more of these events because it’s amazing"

Evandro Goncalves, Brazil: "For sure it wasn’t the result we expected and we wanted but from the beginning of the tournament we grew up a lot and wanted something else but we also realize the other team deserved because they played really well so I’m happy with the result in the end. It wasn’t only that they served really well, but also we didn’t serve well enough. In the second set we missed 12 serves and that helped to lose the balance. Together with Rio, they are like the home of beach volleyball so it’s always great to come back here and play beach volleyball. But the next one I want to come back and win."

Andre Loyola, Brazil: "It’s really good to play against this team especially because they are world champions and they won the bronze medal in Rio. Both teams are really similar, both serve really well and we are tall. It was really good to see how they acted. Today they forced it a lot and it worked for them and it didn’t work for us but it was a really good learning experience"