ANKARA, Turkey, September 21, 2004 – Netherlands pulled off a major upset on the opening day of the 2005 FIVB World Grand Prix European Qualification Tournament here in Ankara, Turkey on Tuesday by defeating European champions Poland 3-1. In the other first day action, hosts Turkey defeated Bulgaria (3-0), while Germany beat Romania (3-0).
Six European women’s teams are playing off for three spots in the 2005 FIVB World Grand Prix. With Italy already qualified for the main phase of this major women’s Volleyball competition as the organizer of the Final Round next year and Russia excluded by the FIVB to participate in the qualification event, the six-team single round robin tournament is a completely open event.
Netherlands showed that surprises can be expected by beating Poland 25-23, 27-25, 25-23. A victory which marked a great start for the new Dutch coach Avital Selinger, who took over the job in Netherlands from Italian Angiolino Frigoni earlier this year. It was the first match in charge for Selinger who is an Olympic silver medalist in 1992 as a player and winner of the Indesit European Champions’ League as coach of the Spanish team TENERIFE Marichal this year.
The Dutch spiker Francien Huurman was the best player of the match with 22 points, outplaying Polish star and Europe’s best women's Volleyball player of 2003 Malgorzata Glinka, who scored 20 points.
In other action, Germany made a flying start by defeating Romania 25-15, 25-19, 25-19. The only Olympic competitor present here in Ankara claimed the victory in just over an hour over the team that replaced Russia. Angelina Grun was the best scorer for the European Championship bronze medalist with 21 points. Turkey, meanwhile, didn’t disappoint the home fans in the ASKI arena by beating Bulgaria 25-18, 25-17, 25-18.
For more results and live scores visit http://www.voleybol.org.tr/WGP.2005/WGP.EQ.RESULTS.htm