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 2002 Info
World Grand Prix 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Netherlands beat Italy 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 36-34, 26-24, 19-17) - duration 2.20
28-Jul, start time: 16.15, end time: 18.35 - Attendance: 1.850
Netherlands snatch victory in five-set thriller
The Netherlands turned on one of their most courageous and grittiest performances to come back from 2-0 down to beat the World Grand Prix hosts Italy in five sets, with all five sets boasting a winning margin of only two points, illustrating the tight nature of the contest.

Italy won the first two sets with precision and guile just doing enough to seal the two sets and looked on course for a well fought and well earned three set victory, especially when holding a four point lead in the third. But the Netherlands thought differently. in exhausting conditions and in front of an Italian crowd they drew level and then pushed the home side all the way before coming out on the right side of a marathon 70-point set.

On the back of the superb spiking form of Francien Huurman, the Netherlands continued their momentum during the fourth set until it was Italy's turn to come from behind to draw level but again, they showed great stamina and concentration to hold off the Italian fight back and collect the fourth set to send the match into a tie breaker.

With the advantage clearly in the Netherlands favour as they rode a wave of form, Italian dug in and held on for every point matching every Netherlands smash with one of their own but couldn't match the great ingenuity of the Netherlands as the visitors finished off a superb come-from-behind victory.

The three players who top scored for Itay - Silvia Croatto, Nadia Centoni, Valentina Borrelli - illustrated the all round game plan of the home side. For the Netherlands Huurman was a star contributing a mammoth 33 points.