Eindhoven, the Netherlands, June 28, 2009 – After the win of yesterday, today Italy anchored it’s status of one of the greater volleyball nations. In the Indoor Sportcentre of Eindhoven the Netherlands lost their second World League home match against the Italians with clear numbers: 0-3 (23-25, 15-25, 20-25).
Today, Dutch coach Peter Blangé started with Jeroen Rauwerdink on the position of the injured Robert Horstink. But unlike the day before, the Netherlands did not know a great beginning. The Italians however appeared confident and concentrated from the start. At 3-6 Blangé already called for his first time out, a few minutes later an ace of Italy’s Dragan Travica led in the first technical time out (4-8). The Netherlands managed to even the score for the first time at 10-10 and the teams got even again and again up to 14-14, but then the Italians again created a margin of two points. After a few exciting rallies, with a good working Dutch block, the score evened again at 17-17. When the French referee judged a clear ace of Kay van Dijk out, the audience protested loudly (20-21). A few minutes the Dutch managed to work away the first set point, but the second one was cashed by Michal Lasko.
An amazing block of Wytze Kooistra led in the 2-1 in the second set. A well placed serve of Van Dijk brought the men in orange a lead of two points, but Italy came back soon (4-4). The Italians scored beautiful points through the pipe and before the Netherlands knew, the south-Europeans created a gap of four points (5-9). At 7-11, Blangé, clearly agitated, called his team on the side. And when captain Jeroen Trommel saw his blocked ball land outside the lines of the Dutch field, Blangé substituted setter Van Harskamp for Roland Rademaker (7-13). At that point, everything on orange side seemed to go wrong whereas the Italians scored almost every ball they hit (8-16). At 12-22, Rademaker had to make place again for Van Harskamp and one point later, captain Trommel was substituted by Jan Willem Snippe. A well placed spike of Michal Lasko brought the first set point to Italy, but the margin was too big. At 15-25, the set was finished, a major disappointment for the Dutch fans.
In the third set, Snippe started on the position of Trommel. The beginning of this set showed the same pattern: Italy playing really well and the Netherlands desperately trying to make it work on their side. In no time, the score board showed 1-5, causing Blangé to call for a time out again. But, the Italians were clearly in a flow and acted confident and accurate (4-9, 5-11, 8-13). On top of that, too many Dutch services didn’t even pass the net (10-16). At 10-18, Blangé tried to change the tide for the last time this match, calling his squad on the side. A kill block of Emanuele Birarelli shortly after that however widened the gap to nine points. Next to great attacks of the Italians, also their defense was far more solid than the Dutch one (16-23). The Netherlands mad a rush in the end, climbing up from 17-24 to 20-24, but then the match was decided by a pruning hard spike of Birarelli.