2003 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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 2002 Info
The Netherlands

Following the heights of a European Championship title in 1995 and a fifth place finish at the 1996 Olympics under coach Bert Goedkoop, the Netherlands women's Volleyball has fallen by the weigh side lately to see them drop to 13th in the world rankings in 2002.

The failure to qualify for the Sydney 2000 Olympics was a result of a team being ravaged by injuries but now under new coach, Italian Angelo Frigoni, the Netherlands are on a roll with some impressive results. Despite last year's disappointing ninth place finish at the 2002 World Championship in Germany, the Netherlands will be backing themselves to be fighting it out at the business end of the World Grand Prix.

This years World Grand Prix will be only their fourth since the tournament's inception in 1993 and their first in four years but there's a humble feeling around the "Orange Country" that this latest edition of Dutch women's volleyball is young, fit and strong, marking a strong resemblance to the heydays of the early 90's.

Francien Huurman, 28, is bound to be the lynch pin in this Netherlands outfit again with over 150 appearances in the national jersey. At 192cm she plays a crucial role as middle blocker and her experience in the Italian league where she has been playing since 1998 will be relied upon heavily by her teammates.