13.08.2021 - Vienna, Austria
It was fitting, in a certain way, that the last beach volleyball match of Marleen van Iersel’s career was against fellow Dutch Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam at the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley Vienna 2021 presented by the Swatch.
One of the winningest players in Dutch history and a two-time continental champion and Olympian, the 33-year-old van Iersel ended her career on Friday morning in Vienna, when partner Pleun Ypma and her fell to Schoon and Stam in two sets (21-16, 21-15) in the Round of 16.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t show our best in this last match, but the girls are playing really well,” van Iersel said after the match. “I’m very emotional because this is the end for me and endings are just weird. I have great highlights in my career and am extremely grateful for it. Memories from tournaments I played, places I visited and people I met. It was an amazing journey and I’m somehow sad and relieved at the same time now that it’s over.”
The match symbolized a passing of the torch in Dutch volleyball, with van Iersel, a veteran of 16 international seasons, leaving the floor to the 19-year-old Schoon and the 22-year-old Stam, who represented their country at the Tokyo Olympics and seem poised to make even greater things for their nation in the future.
Before completely stepping away from the game, van Iersel wil make one final appearance at the ‘side out style’ King of the Court event in Utrecht, the Ne