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13 July 2018 | in Beach Volleyball, FISU World University Championships

Canadian women and German men emerge victorious at WUC Beach Volleyball


  • Nicole and Megan McNamara capped an undefeated run through the tournament with a three set win over the Spain’s Belén Carro and Paula Soria to earn the 2018 world university women’s title.


  • Coming into the tournament ranked No. 14, Germany’s Dan John and Eric Stadie upset the seeding system and their compatriots, David and Bennet Poniewaz, for the men’s title.   



MUNICH — On the fifth and final day a standing room only crowd of 1,500 spectators packed around centre court as the best collegiate players played for the medals at the FISU World University Beach Volleyball Championship in the iconic Olympic Park.


The first gold medal game of the day pitted team Canada’s Nicole and Megan McNamara up against Belén Carro and Paula Soria of Spain. Early on, the twins from the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) were in control, rolling to a 21-14 first set win and an early lead in the second. However, buoyed by the blocking play of 19 year old Carro, team Spain roared back to force a third and final set.


In the final measure, steely play saw the twins — who had previously earn silver at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and place third at both the U-17 and U-19 FIVB World Championships — break through for their first-ever global title, winning 21-14, 18-21, 15-10.   


"It's unbelievable – it feels so good,"  Nicole McNamara said. "I think we were a little bit nervous at one point, but once we shook that off and got back playing really aggressive, it really took off for us."

 The crowds came out in force again for the final day of the FISU World University Beach Volleyball Championship in Munich's Olympic Park. Here the all-German men's final takes place, the event's last competition.

In the bronze medal match, USA Team’s Torrey Van Winden and Emily Sonny rebounded their semi final loss to team Spain to turn back team Switzerland’s Zoé Vergé-Dépré and Esmée Böbner, 21-19, 21-16.

 Strong play at the net from both German teams punctuated the men's final. Here David Poniewaz hits a winner in the middle of the second set.

While likely contenders highlighted the women’s medal matches, it was Germany II’s Dan John and Eric Stadie who made an inspired if unexpected undefeated run through the first four days to set up an all-German men’s final where the 14th seeded team met up with top tournament seeds, David and Bennet Poniewaz.


After taking the first set 21-17, the Poniewaz twins stormed back in second set to tie it all up 18-18. But the underdogs displayed a steely nerves in the tense setting to win 21-17, 21-19 in 46 minutes for the gold medal.

Celebrating the moment after the winning shot goes down and the victory in the final is in hand, with Dan John and Eric Stadie (left) of Germany and Nicole and Megan McNamara from Canada

The defining moment of the match might have come with the score tied 18-18 in the second set. “The Poniewaz brothers were playing better than us in the second set,” Stadie acknowledged. Then his partner John got a monster block at the net that got the DJ and crowd to a fever pitch with the “Mein Block” soundtrack. “Getting that block, that was the best feeling in the world,” John said after the match. 



Even in defeat, David Poniewaz acknowledged the fans who packed centre court for the final day. “The crowd is simply crazy,” he said. “The atmosphere is outstanding."



Swiss third seeds Florian Breer and Yves Haussener rallied by the fourth seeded Austrians Felix Friedl and Maximilian Trummer to win the bronze medal match up 19-21, 21-19, 15-9.

 The men's and women's medalists mounted the podium to cap Friday's awards ceremonies


Festive closing ceremony

Spectators and athletes alike were treated to world class performances throughout the week, from the beach courts to the event organisation to the opening and closing ceremonies

After the award ceremony came the time to say goodbye. FISU Vice-President Cabral thanked the numerous volunteers.


"You were fantastic,” Mr. Cabral said. “Always friendly, you always had a smile on your face and displayed enormous competence.”


 Dr. Verena Burk, FISU Executive Committee Member and president of the Organising Committee, followed, remarking elite level of the participants.



"We enjoyed several sport highlights during this week ending in two fascinating finals, this really was beach volleyball at its best,” Dr. Burk said. “The World University Championships are a shining example of the quality of student elite sport.


“I hope that the active members and officials of this event can take away not only competition experience but also the positive feeling of hospitality and friendship,” Dr. Burk added. “We want to strengthen the exchange between nations with sport. We succeeded in doing this together here in Munich.”



After the closing speeches, the FISU flag was lowered and handed over to the organiser of the World University Beach Volleyball Championships 2020, Malaga.



2020 WUC Beach Volleyball coming to Costa del Sol



The 2020 FISU World University Beach Volleyball Championship heads to southern Spain’s Costa del Sol region as Malaga hosts the 10th edition of the event.  In Munich, University of Malaga sports director Pedro Montiel personally invited the players and delegations there to attend in  2020.



“In the name of the University if Malaga, we invite you to come to Torremolinos for the next edition of the FISU World University Beach Volleyball Championship,” Mr. Montiel said.



"We welcome everybody to the capital of Costa del Sol for what I am sure will be a beautiful event. We are a top Spanish university that values sports and educational excellence. We are so excited and proud to host another World University Championship event. See you soon.”