July 29 – Russia beat the Netherlands in straight sets for their sixth straight victory at the 2003 women’s volleyball World Grand Prix tournament.
The Grand Prix defending champions used just one hour and two minutes to snatch the 25-22, 25-18 and 25-15 victory, which pushed them to the top of the final round round-robin competition and in pole position to win the title again. Although, Russian head coach Nikolai Karpol thought every team in the final round still had a chance to win the title.
“Every team in the final round is every strong. We should be careful, because anything could happen,” he said.
After a surprising opening loss to South Korea, Russia won fourth straight to finish the preliminaries with a 4-1 record and have now gone on to enlarge their winning streak to six in the final round.
The Netherlands looked tired after Monday’s marathon victory over hosts Italy and could not stop the dazzling Russian attack led by towering spikers Ekaterina Gamova and Elizaveta Tichchenko. The Russian duo combined for 26 points and Evguenia Artamonova added nine.
“It’s upsetting to lose like this,” said the Netherlands’ head coach Angelo Frigoni. “We could have played better, but we didn’t.”
“We had problems in receiving. It’s a bad day for the Netherlands.”