USA women fall to the
Netherlands in World Grand Prix opener
China, June 24, 2005 – Francien Huurman scored a
match-high 12 points to lead three players in double
figures as the Netherlands posted a decisive 3-0 win
over USA in the World Grand Prix opener for both teams
on Friday afternoon.
Huurman had nine kills, two service aces and one block
in the 25-17, 25-14, 25-17 victory as the Dutch ruined
the homecoming of Chinese superstar and Team USA head
coach “Jenny” Lang Ping at Ningbo Beilun Gym.
Chaine Staelens and Manon Flier each scored 11 points
for the Netherlands, who play defending Olympic gold
medallists China in their next match on Saturday.
Pic: One of USA's more experienced players - Lindsey
“The result was not surprising because these players
have trained together for only three days,” said Lang
Ping. “Moreover, our two outside hitters are both
college students; they have never played such important
games. Today we struggled in our offense as the
Netherlands destroyed our receiving with quality serves.
They also did very well in blocking today.”
Jane Collymore scored 10 points on seven kills, two
blocks and one service ace to lead the Americans, who
captured the bronze medal in this event in each of the
last two years after winning Grand Prix titles in 1995
Two Athens Olympians, Elisabeth Bachman and Nancy
Metcalf scored eight points each for Team USA. Bachman,
playing in her first match of the year, had seven kills
and one block. Metcalf, who was named the “Best Scorer”
at last week’s Pan American Cup in the Dominican
Republic, blasted eight kills.
“Our players tried their best, but we just need time to
play better,” added Lang Ping.
The United States will try to even its record in Group A
against Thailand tomorrow before taking on China on
Sunday to cap the first weekend of the World Grand Prix.
On the second weekend of pool play (July 1-3), the USA
will play the Dominican Republic, Japan and Korea in
Seoul, Korea, as a member of “Group D.” On the third
weekend of pool play (July 8-10), the USA will play
Japan, Poland and Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand, as a
member of “Group I.”
The top five ranked teams after pool play will advance
to the championship round along with the host team,
Japan, from July 13-18 in Sendai, Japan.