CEV, Luxembourg. Women’s beach volleyball has been continuously growing in popularity over the last two decades with the help of incredible athletes and coaches around the world. CEV took a look at the Top 5 Women’s Beach Volleyball teams from Europe of the last two decades as CEV commentator Lewie Lett was joined by some of the most successful coaches in the game, Margo Wiltens, Daniel Wood and Christoph Dieckmann.
The selection has been made as part of CEV’s “Debate” series on YouTube and the full episode is available HERE.
The following teams have fully contributed to the competitiveness of their sport at a global level, winning Olympic, World, European and World Tour medals and above all have shown the consistency over a long period of time to be included in this selective list.
5. Marleen van Iersel/Sanne Keizer (NED)
Margo Wiltens: “Marleen is an outstanding and spectacular player. Her entertainment level is quite high, in her game style, attitude and team combinations. Their combination was the one that worked the best.”
Daniel Wood: “Their attitude was very good. They combined very well and started winning sooner than other team combinations that Marleen had.”
Christoph Dieckmann: “I think individually Marleen is one of the most talented players in Europe. She did a great job with every partner she had and this duo in particular was very strong and they deserve a Top 5. “
4. Stefanie Schwaiger/Doris Schwaiger (AUT)
Daniel Wood: “They were mentally really really strong and their development through the years took them to another level. They were not the most physical team on the Tour but their mental and technical parts were very strong. “
Christoph Dieckmann: “They were together for a very long time. They started lower but reached the level of world class and with two 5th places in the Olympics they became the second most successful European team. They were very consistent and very difficult to play against. “
3. Liliana Fernandez Steiner/Elsa Baquerizo McMillan (ESP)
Margo Wiltens: “They are the perfect example of a team that has always been the standard for any other team that wanted a medal. If you wanted to win a medal you first had to prove that you can beat them.”
Daniel Wood: “They started playing on the Tour many years ago and in 2020 they are still together. They have been very consistent, getting medals in the European Championships and World Tour, being in the top 5 and top 10 teams for a long time.”
Christoph Dieckmann: “If we are to put a high emphasis on consistency they have to be in the top 5. It is one of the most important teams in the history of European Beach Volleyball. “
2. Laura Ludwig/ Sara Goller (GER)
Margo Wiltens: “They were very strong in a time when it was very difficult to win or be consistent in your performances. They deserve to be named at a minimum. “
Daniel Wood: “They have opened doors and shown consistency as a European team. They won medals in five of the European Championships and it was the start to what Laura would end up doing with Kira. They were also the first European team to enter the World Top 5.”
Christoph Dieckmann: “Very successful on a European level but also they were twice in the Olympics, finishing fifth and ninth, which only two other European teams have done better. When they were playing as a team, during a strong period for European teams, I think they were the best European team of that period.”
1. Laura Ludwig/ Kira Walkenhorst (GER)
Margo Wiltens: “For me they have redefined winning and redefined the sport. It was just a different female game for beach volleyball.”
Daniel Wood: “Their start was not that consistent, but from there they just started getting better and better, then they have become the most consistent European team, being able to win against teams from Brazil and the United States.”
Christoph Dieckmann: “For me this is the only team that needs to be here without a doubt, all the rest are up for debate, this is an easy call.”
If you would like to listen to the full debate and the reasoning behind every choice, or simply curious to find out which other teams have made the shortlist, watch the full episode: