This Thursday, the packed hall of the Woudestein sports centre resounded with cheers. The ladies of Erasmus Volley just won the first set, guaranteeing them the championship and a spot in the second division. Ultimately, the euphoric Rotterdam students also won the entire match against City Bril Krimpen, with a decisive 3-1 victory.

But what’s the secret behind their fantastic performance? The players themselves mainly talk of a ‘collective effort’. Studying the team’s success, you can point to a number of architects – not just on the court, but also along the sidelines.

Queen of Quaff

Lisette Krassenburg Erasmus Volley Dames kampioen City Bril Krimpen

Lisette Krassenburg is a regular jill-of-all-trades. The libero is not only known as the club’s ‘honorary member’, but she is also nearly finished with her clinical rotation, i.e. her training on location as a doctor. But above all, she is recognised as Erasmus Volley’s undisputed Queen of Quaff. Where others back down and ready themselves for next day’s hangover, she perseveres. Whether she relies on arcane medical knowledge to stay the course is unknown. In any case, she invariably shows this same tenacity on the court.

Life of the party

Tirzah Richards Erasmus Volley Dames kampioen City Bril Krimpen

If the hall threatens to quiet down, the team can count on Tirzah Richards. With her enthusiasm both on and off the court, she never fails to raise the team’s spirits. And whenever she’s on the bench herself, Richards thunderously claps on her teammates and even makes airplane movements. What’s more, she regularly treats the audience to some elegant dance moves that remind us of her Antillean roots.

The service cannon

Lotte Witbreuk Erasmus Volley Dames kampioen City Bril Krimpen

The opposing players shake in their shoes when captain Lotte Witbreuk gets ready to throw up the ball. Witbreuk has already scored quite a few crucial points this season. Legend says her personal record stands at ten consecutive point-scoring serves.

The zealot

Teun Trommels Erasmus Volley Dames kampioen City Bril Krimpen

Coach Teun Trommels often seems to be the embodiment of calm. Nevertheless, he can really let loose during a match. He’ll yell at the players when things aren’t going as planned, and when they are – well, yes, then he’ll yell at them too. Indeed, within the team, Trommels’s fanaticism has even earned him comparisons with Richard de Kogel. This is none other than the former trainer of Erasmus Volley Men’s 1 and the present coach of the Dutch national ladies beach volleyball team. Not a bad person to be compared to.

The ‘ultimate team player’

Esmee Waaijer Erasmus Volley Dames kampioen City Bril Krimpen

At the start of this season, Erasmus Volley had a slight problem with its manpower (sorry, womanpower). The team lacked an effective playmaker. While Esmee Waaijer had little to no experience in this position, she decided to take the plunge. She proved a quick learner, who has dragged the team through quite a few tight spots with her clean set-ups and merciless drives. Waaijer had strong confidence in the team, betting that Erasmus Volley would win the championship as early as December, when the various clubs were grouped far closer on the ranking than later on. Her reward? A bottle of champagne.

The German darling

Franziska Lange Erasmus Volley Dames kampioen City Bril Krimpen

And Erasmus Volley’s internationals also played their part in landing the title. Franziska Lange (‘Franzi’) is known as the team’s ‘German darling’. She regularly gets everyone laughing with her reflections on the Dutch language. For example: “You Dutch seem to use the word lekker (tasty) for everything. In Germany, we strictly reserve it for food.” Indeed, Thursday’s win was definitely lekker, and the ladies will be celebrating their championship title with a lekkere party.

On 22 April, Erasmus Volley will be playing the last match of the season, an away game against Voleco. That evening they will be throwing a championship party in Eetcafé ‘t Keerpunt, starting at 10 p.m. Everyone’s invited!