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Dutch back to winning ways against Kenya

The Netherlands' Francien Huurman spikes against Kenya

Hamamatsu, Japan, November 2, 2010 – The Netherlands sailed past Kenya in straight sets (25-8, 25-14, 25-11) for their second win in four first-round matches in Pool B of the 2010 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship on Tuesday.

After suffering final-set heartache against both Italy and Brazil over the weekend, the Dutch needed a straightforward victory to raise confidence, and they got it against winless Kenya thanks to their early supremacy in each set. But Kenya did not go quietly at the Hamamatsu Arena, and even tied the second set at 12 before the Netherlands raised their game to show superior technique and defensive coverage.

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

The outcome never seemed in doubt during the initial exchanges, as Avital Selinger's team zoomed ahead at 9-3 and 14-5. Kenya's great effort chasing balls behind the court during an exciting rally won them the point for 16-7, yet they lost top spiker Asha Makuto who limped off and missed the rest of the set. The Dutch then reeled off 6 straight points to take the set comfortably: 25-8.

The second set was a strange creature with three faces. The Netherlands notched 8 successive points, before Kenya recovered four of their own. Hidehiro Irisawa's side then appeared ready to stage a stunning upset, levelling the set at 12 after blocks by Jane Wairimu 'Wachu' and captain Brackcides Khadambi, and then a spike by Mercy Moim. However, Manon Flier showed why she is one of the world's leading spikers, and her team proceeded to claim seven straight points to win the set 25-14.

Even after Flier sat down after setting up Alice Blom for a spike at 10-5 in the third, the Dutch substitutes continued to dominate the Kenyans by scores of 12-7 and 18-9. Typically of the contest, it was an 8-point streak that clinched the set, 25-11, and the match. The Netherlands, third in the group, face Puerto Rico on Wednesday when rock-bottom Kenya have one last chance of a first victory at this level, against the Czech Republic.

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