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Sloetjes hopes Netherlands get vibe back for Olympic qualifiers

Lonneke Sloetjes celebrates in their match against Brazil in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup
Hamamatsu, Japan, September 17, 2019 – Superstar opposite Lonneke Sloetjes is currently competing with her national team – the Netherlands – in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup and she is hoping that the tournament will help them prepare for the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament in January 2020.

“This tournament is one big training for Olympic qualification,” Sloetjes said. “It’s really important that we get a lot of experience and play tough games against good teams, so this tournament is really welcome.”

Prior to the World Cup, Sloetjes and her squad competed in the Tokyo Volleyball Qualification Tournament and European Championship. In the intercontinental qualification tournament, Sloetjes led her squad in scoring but the team lost the spot to Italy.

In the World Cup, Sloetjes is hoping for a good performance that will hit the restart button in preparation for their final chance to book a ticket to Tokyo 2020.

“We’re not in the best place right now after the last Olympic qualification and the last European Championship wasn’t really our tournament. For us it’s really a good way to restart and fight our way back,” shared Sloetjes.

The World Cup is also her last tournament before she travels to Italy for the club season. But preparation still continues for the Dutch player.

“It’s really hard because each one of us will go to a club and we need to keep continuing to prepare there although we are on our own there, we still need to think about what will happen in January,” Sloetjes explained.

“So it’s really important for everyone that in January, we can be the best we can and I think in this tournament we just have to get our vibe back and to enjoy – to get our mojo back. I’m really happy that we can participate here to get the training.”

The Netherlands are having a good run so far in Hamamatsu as they had a 3-0 winning start - all wins in straight sets.

Sloetjes helped out teammates Anne Buijs and Maret Balkestein-Grothues in scoring in their first two outings, claiming wins against Argentina 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-19) and Kenya 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-17).

Sloetjes’ game against Brazil was her most brilliant so far, as she notched 25 points in a solid performance from the attack line. The Dutch team stunned the South American team 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-22) to be among the three teams that remain undefeated in the tournament.

The Netherlands will face the United States on September 18 at 14.00 local time, and then face European rivals Serbia the next day at 11.00.


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