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Dutch sign off with victory over Cuba

Left-hander Maret Grothues led the Dutch attack in the 3-0 victory over Cuba

Tokyo, Japan, November 14, 2010 – The Netherlands prevailed against Cuba in the fight for 11th spot at the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship. In a hard-fought match at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, it was the Dutch who emerged victorious in straight-sets (32-30, 25-23, 25-17).

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

Leading the Netherlands' scoring on the day was Maret Grothues with 17, many of those points coming in clutch moments. Captain Manon Flier added 15 while Alice Blom and Caroline Wensink contributed 12 and 11 respectively. Cuba's leading scorer was Kenia Carcaces who posted 14 points in a losing effort. Rachel Sanchez and Yoana Palacios charted 12 and 10.

Cuba jumped into a 9-5 lead early on with Ana Lidia Cleger helping her side with her strong attacking and defending at the net. The Netherlands countered with Flier driving a spike to close within a single point at 11-10. Cuba stayed ahead and a Carcaces cross-court spike put them 24-20 up but then the Dutch pulled off a little miracle with four straight points to tie. In total they fought off ten set-points – four alone negated by Grothues – before taking the set on an Ingrid Visser block 32-30.

Entering the second set Cuba grabbed a 10-5 lead thanks to some strong attacking from Palacios and Carcaces, but the Dutch came back with a run of four and a Wensink block brought parity at 13-13. The two teams exchanged the lead until more clutch play from Grothues and a pair of Francien Huurman points gave the Dutch set-point. Again it was Visser who put it away with a well-placed spike for 25-23.

The Dutch edged 8-6 ahead in the third on a Visser block. She appeared to hurt her hand stopping that strong spike by Yanelis Santos but recovered well enough to drop a solid spike past Cuba's Carcaces a few points later. A clever tip at the net by Blom put the Netherlands up by four, and a Grothues ace made it 20-15. Flier's tip then gave her team match point, and she followed it up with another clever put-away to take the set 25-17, and with it the match.

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