FIVB Volleyball Empowerment beneficiaries from Denmark win gold and bronze on the sand
The North European Volleyball Zonal Association (NEVZA) recently held its annual competitions in both volleyball and beach volleyball. FIVB Volleyball Empowerment beneficiaries from Denmark claimed two medals at the final NEVZA Beach Volleyball Zonal Tour 2023 event in Gothenburg over the weekend. In late October, the U19 and U17 indoor national team tournaments were held in Rovaniemi and Ikast, respectively.
NEVZA Beach Volleyball Zonal Tour
Coached by Martin Olesen, Denmark’s Mads Mollgaard and Nicolai Hovmann Overgaard (pictured in the main photo; credits: Kai Piluschewski) triumphed in the men’s tournament at the event in Sweden, while Cecilie Kollner Olsen and Frederikke Schade Jensen took the bronze in the women’s competition. Danish beach volleyball has so far been allocated CHF 36,000 of coach support from the Volleyball Empowerment programme.
In the men’s final, Mollgaard and Hovmann achieved a 2-0 (24-22, 21-15) victory over Sweden’s Stefan Andreasson and Anton Andersson. The host nation also claimed the men’s bronze medals after Alexander Annerstedt and Martin Appelgren mastered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) win over Finland’s Pekka Piippo and Vili Topio.
Both women’s medal matches were also decided in straight sets. Norway’s Victoria Faye Kjølberg and Julie Varga topped the podium after claiming a 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) sweep of the gold medal match against Sara Malmström and Hulda Rudberg of Sweden. Denmark’s Olsen and Schade beat Sweden’s Emilia Saxne and Sanna Madestam 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) to claim the bronze.
A total of 32 teams from Denmark, England, Finland, Norway and Sweden took part in the event in Gothenburg.
NEVZA U19 Volleyball Championships
The NEVZA U19 Volleyball Championships were held in Rovaniemi, Finland from 27 to 29 October with the participation of seven teams in each gender and also served as a zonal qualification round for the 2024 CEV U20 Volleyball European Championships.
In the men’s final, hosts Finland mastered a 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-18) victory over Norway to claim the gold medals, while Denmark delivered a 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-16, 25-19) win over Sweden for the bronze. Faroe Islands, England and Iceland, in that order, lined up from fifth to seventh place in the final standings.
Setter Ville Kuukasjärvi (Finland), opposite William Groffier (Finland), outside hitters Even Stray Aas (Norway) and Nooa Marttila (Finland), middle blockers Aaro Paananen (Finland) and Måns Eriksson (Sweden), and libero Emil Severin Olsen (Norway) were named on the tournament’s All Star Team.
Sweden won the women’s gold medal match beating Finland by a hard-fought 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 15-6). Five sets were played in the bronze medal match too. Norway completed the podium after a 3-2 (17-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-13, 15-11) comeback against Denmark. Iceland, England and Faroe Islands finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
The All Star Team featured setter Liina Räty (Finland), opposite Martha Edlund (Sweden), outside hitters Emilia Saxne (Sweden) and Iina-Reetta Kaikkonen (Finland), middle blockers Ella Peltomaa (Finland) and Hanna Kastarinen (Finland), and libero Veera Help (Finland).
NEVZA U17 Volleyball Championships
The NEVZA U17 Volleyball Championships were held in Ikast, Denmark from 16 to 18 October, with the participation of six teams per gender. The tournament also served as a zonal qualification round for the 2024 CEV U18 Volleyball European Championships.
Finland mastered a 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-17) sweep of the girls’ final against hosts Denmark to triumph as NEVZA champions. The bronze went to England, who claimed a 3-1 (18-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21) win over Norway for the third place. Iceland took fifth place, while Faroe Islands finished sixth.
Denmark’s outside hitter Mille Bassøe was named Most Valuable Player (MVP). She was joined by setter Iida Mikkonen (Finland), opposite Noora Päykkönen (Finland), outside hitter Selma Nikkanen (Finland), middle blockers Saara Tyrkkö (Finland) and Milla Haapaniemi (Finland), and libero Elsi Karjanlahti (Finland) on the tournament’s All Star Team.
Finland and Denmark met in the boys’ gold medal match too, which was also resolved in straight sets Finland’s way, 3-0 (25-12, 27-25, 25-13). Norway took the bronze after a 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 25-14, 25-20) victory over England in the third-place game. Iceland and Faroe Islands lined up in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
The MVP award went to Finnish opposite Viktor Viljamaa, who was also named on the All Star Team, alongside setter Eeli Kuukasjärvi (Finland), outside hitters Matias Siika-Aho (Finland) and Viktor Markwian Oldenborg (Denmark), middle blockers Janne Kolehmainen (Finland) and Aarni Ruohola (Finland), and libero Panu Salmijärvi (Finland).