Stefan Boermans and Matthew Immers have been partners for less than two months, but the short period sharing the same side of the court has been enough for the Dutch to produce a flawless start at this week’s Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Agadir Challenge, in Morocco.
Boermans and Immers enjoying quick success in Morocco
The temporary Dutch partners have a perfect start at the Agadir Challenge
Published 08:19, 22 Jul 2022
The two joined forces temporarily in June while Boermans’ regular partner Yorick de Groot recovers from an injury and were one of the six men’s teams to finish at the top of their groups at the conclusion of pool play in Morocco on Friday.
The two victories Boermans and Immers secured on the opening day of the event in Agadir ensured at least a ninth-place finish, matching their best results so far, earned at the Gstaad Elite16 and last week’s Espinho Challenge. The Dutch also took 17th place at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rome and triumphed in two stops of their country’s national tour in Heerlen and Almelo in their brief stint as partners.
In Agadir, the 27-year-old Boermans and the 21-year-old Immers were perfect in Pool D, producing a pair of straight-set victories against Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich/Leo Dillier (21-14, 21-17) and Australia’s Paul Burnett/Chris McHugh (21-19, 21-14). The results have placed the Dutch in the Round of 16, where they will face Americans Miles Evans and Andy Benesh on Saturday.
Immers/Boermans vs. McHugh/Burnett - Match Highlights
In the same pool, young Czechs Jakub Sepka and Tomas Semerad defeated Tokyo Olympian Heidrich and his partner Dillier to remain alive in the tournament. After dropping their first match to Burnett and McHugh in two sets (16-21, 19-21), the 20-year-old Sepka and the 19-year-old Semerad rebounded to top the Swiss by the slightest of margins in straight sets (23-21, 24-22) and advance.
“We’re so happy that we won this match,” Sepka commented. “It’s the first time we win a match in the main draw of a Challenge event at the Beach Pro Tour and it’s hard to describe our feelings now.”
Heidrich/Dillier vs. Sepka/Semerad - Match Highlights
The other five pool winners in Agadir were Italy’s Adrian Carambula/Enrico Rossi, Norway’s Hendrik Mol/Mathias Berntsen, Switzerland’s Marco Krattiger/Florian Breer, Türkiye’s Hasan Mermer/Safa Urlu and the Netherlands’ Leon Luini/Ruben Penninga.
Besides the duel between Dutch and Americans, the Round of 16 in Morocco will also have Krattiger and Breer facing Austrians Alexander Huber and Christoph Dressler, Luini and Penninga matching up with Danish team Kristoffer Abell and Jacob Brinck, Mermer and Urlu playing Moroccans Mohamed Abicha and Zouheir Elgraoui, Burnett and McHugh meeting the Argentinean Capogrosso brothers Nicolas and Tomas and the encounter between Mexicans Juan Virgen and Miguel Sarabia and Swiss Quentin Metral and Yves Haussener.
The two best-seeded teams in the tournament, Carambula/Rossi and Mol/Berntsen will wait for the conclusion of the Round of 18 matches – Sepka/Semerad vs. Lithuania’s Audrius Knasas/Patrikas Stankevicius and New Zealand’s Bradley Fuller/Sam O’Dea vs. France’s Youssef Krou/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat – to have their opponents determined.
Saturday’s schedule in Agadir will include the Round of 18, the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, while the semifinals and the medal matches are set to take place on Sunday.