Short characterization: THE NETHERLANDS

I Team formation

·       Team formation from a mixture of young talented players (four players born in 1984 or later, two of them being diagonal player and/or outside attacker in starting line-up) and regular players with many years of experience (two players OG 1996); average age 24.3 years.

·       Tallest of all final teams with an average body height of 186 cm (without libero); four players taller than 190 cm.

·       As for body height much potential for the future (including player No. 1 K. Staelens, 182 cm, whose continuous development to become first setter was slowed down by a complicated injury).

II  General impression

·       New ambitious coach is trying to build up high and strong block and powerful attack. According to information of the scouts the NED hired a Japanese assistance coach to work on defence.

·       Height and power play (serve, attack) are the strengths of NED. Lack of ball control is still their weakness at the moment.

·       6th place. It could be a little bit disappointing result for them, because they probably wanted to win the match against Japan. Very good physical characteristics, the potential of players and the motivation of the entire team identify NED as a team with a future.   Particularly player No. 12, diagonal player Flier, gives the team a future.

III Team composition and characteristic of play

·       Combination of small defensive players and tall hitters with performance reserves in physical conditional sphere.  Setter Staelens (born in 1982, body height 182 cm) who is important for the future replaces experienced R. Fledderus (No. 14) during the match.

·       Offensive team with undeveloped defensive ability; not balanced team with consistent performance during tournament yet.

·       Team is playing with dedication and without showing too much emotion during the game.

IV Technical impression

Complex I

Passing:

·       Typical style of 5-1, combination of 2 and 3 players against a float serve as well as 3 players against jump top serve.

·       Very good performance of libero, is acting very rationally, unspectacularly, but efficiently.

·       Repeated substitution of one offensive player (jump float, specialist in passing/ defence) by player No. 5 with quasi function of libero as interesting tactical change – also for the future.

Setting:

·       The starting setter player No 14 is an experienced player and has good technique but all kinds of physical ability and better ball control (set outward to P4 almost always with medium tempo without power) might be needed.

·       Balanced and clever distribution of sets; particular affinity toward block players – chances for first tempo attacks are used consistently but they are not always optimally coordinated

Attacking side out:

·       Setting of basic but effective combos. Altogether good mixture of all attacking variants including integration of back court attack (“pipe”). Much first tempo in front of setter, mostly played away (shot 2-3 m).

·       Strong Opposite. Player No. 12 is still an inexperienced player but she is their go-to hitter and best scoring hitter.

Complex II

Serving:

·       Jump top serve by player No. 12 is their best server to score.

·       Serve with coach’s instruction; some effective variation of jump float serves from different positions, completed by power jumps and float distance.

Blocking:

·       Very good constitutional conditions for efficient block (6 players taller than 186 cm).

·       More tactical adjustment needed for effective block organisation. Good blocking technique and closed block against attacks from medium high and high set at outside positions; depending on situation selectively triple block.

Digging:

·       NED was 2nd in team ranking; the libero was the best defensive player, the opposite player No. 12 is another player among the top-10 in individual ranking. Better body and ball control can strengthen the defensive play of the team.

·       Regular and effective substitution of specialist player No. 5 in back court (starting with serve) shows exemplarily how players “from the bench” with special profile can be integrated systematically and effectively into the playing concept.

·       Organisation of defence in basic pattern  with „6 back“; back row players from P1/5 take over covering of the block at outside positions, but act also by adapting to the situation (without short-distance covering, improvement of diagonal defence).

·       With block P3 the defensive row at the back moves closer and depending on the situation moves forward or acts without short-distance covering in the back court (6-7m).

Attacking transition:

·       Aggressive outside attack P4 from very high sets (long line/diagonal, touch the block, high hitting point).

·       Depending on situation the attack from P2 and back court P1 mostly from medium-high sets (use of top scorers player No. 4 and player No.12).

·       Change to back row attacks during the rallies.

·       In free ball situations fast transition to tempo attack mostly in front of setter.