Europe's Final Four book tickets to 2010 World Grand Prix
The Netherlands prevented Russia from advancing to the semis
Lausanne, October 1, 2009 —
The four Women’s teams that will represent Europe at next year's prestigious
World Grand Prix were decided on Thursday with the semifinal placements at the
2009 CEV Orlen European Championships.
Italy, Germany and the Netherlands will all take part in elite annual
tournament scheduled to take place from August 6-29, 2010. There they will join
defending champion Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Japan, Korea, Poland, Puerto
Rico, Thailand and the United States.
The semis for the European
championship will take place on Saturday in Lodz, Poland, with the Netherlands
facing the hosts and Italy taking on Germany in the late match.
At the Atlas Arena on
Thursday, 13,000 fans watched as Poland overcame a strong challenge from
Bulgaria to win in four sets 3-1 (18-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-23). That victory
coupled with Russia’s 3-2 (25-19, 19-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12) loss to the
Netherlands earlier in the day left the hosts with a berth in the Final Four.
“Luckily for us, we won
this game and will play in the semis,” said Polish coach Piotr Makowski. “To
have a chance to beat the Netherlands, we have to receive much better than in
the first match against them and our service pressure has to be much stronger.”
Russia had a chance to
qualify for the semifinals but needed to beat the still undefeated Netherlands
to do so. The Russians came close, but fell in the tiebreaker (much to the
delight of vocal pro-Poland crowd). Ekaterina Gamova of Russia scored 37
points, while Manon Flier led the Dutch offense with 27 points.
“It's an amazing feeling to
play in front of such a public,” said Dutch captain Flier. “We felt like we
were at home today, even though I regret we don't have such Volleyball-crazy
fans in Holland. We are very happy we finished this stage in great style and
without losing a game.”
Also on Thursday, Spain
defeated Belgium 3-2 (23-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 15-13).
The winner of the
continental title will also qualify for this November’s FIVB Women’s World
Grand Champions Cup in Japan.