Their strategy was, simply, to dream on, because what else could they really do?

Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen had no prior experience to call upon in the 2013 World Championships. The young Dutchmen had never made it further than the quarterfinals in an FIVB of any kind, let alone the biggest FIVB of the year.

Yet there they were, in the semifinals against Germany’s Kay Matysik and Jonathan Erdmann, a pair of Olympians. They had reached the semifinals against the most unlikely of odds, navigating a gauntlet of a bracket that included countryman and legend Reinder Nummerdor, to whom both would point as a source of inspiration the way Americans do to Karch Kiraly and Sinjin Smith. They toppled Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst, stunned Brazilians Pedro Solberg and Bruno Schmidt in the quarterfinals – and now what?

“We just said to keep on dreaming,” said Meeuwsen, now 30 years old and the blocker of the two, on SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter.

So they dreamt, and they won, a 21-13, 21-17 pasting of the Germans, which preceded an equally dominant 21-18, 21-16 over Brazilian legend Ricardo and his young defender, Alvaro, in the finals.

Against all odds, Brouwer and Meeuwsen, at just 23 and 25 years old, respectively, were the world champs.

“We got first at the World Championships,” Brouwer said. “But we were definitely not the No. 1 team in the world. Because the next weekend we got third.”

“You wish we got third,” Meeuwsen said, laughing. “We got fourth.”

“As soon as you realize it, your feet are back on the earth,” Brower said.

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