Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, June 21, 2009 - In another
crowded Omnisports in Apeldoorn, China and the Netherlands met again for their
second World League match this weekend.
The Dutch had clearly learned their lessons from last
weekend against the USA, winning this second encounter with China in straight
The men in orange were simply the better party today,
winning each set with a 5 to 10 point lead. With the win, the Netherlands sit
firmly in first place in Pool A.
In the opening phase, Robert Horstink clearly informed
Chinese libero Ren of his presence with a hammering spike that brought Ren
spectacularly to the ground. Though the teams were relatively even early on, China
was on the better side of the scoreboard in the first half of the set. Chen
Ping was especially effective with his almost unstoppable spikes. After the
second technical timeout, Dutch team captain Jeroen Trommel successfully
blocked Ping's attack (14-16) to begin the turnaround. The score evened again
at 16-16 and with substitute Jan Willem Snippe on serve, the Netherlands took
the lead (18-17). Chinese coach Zhou Jianan called for a timeout, but Snippe's
serve clearly was a problem for the Chinese; soon the score was 21-17 for the
men in orange. At 22-18 Dutch coach Peter Blangé brought in Tije Vlam to
strengthen the block and at 24-18 Kay van Dijk served for the set and scored
the closing point himself.
The opening phase of the second set showed the same
pattern as the beginning of the opening set. The score alternated with a modest
lead for the Asian team. China reached the first technical timeout with a
two-point lead, but Dutch attacker Wytze Kooistra scored a beautiful spike
through the center. When the Chinese made an unforced error and Van Dijk spiked
another Dutch point, the Netherlands took the lead again (9-8). A misplaced
foot of Dutch setter Yannick van Harskamp put China back ahead (11-12), but the
score continued to change hands. The Dutch reached the second technical timeout
leading by one point and a perfect block from Horstink and Kooistra, followed
by an ace from captain Trommel forced Jianan to call his team to the sidelines
at 18-15. Two incredible saves from Dutch setter Van Harskamp, assisted by Van
Dijk, prompted even Blangé to applaud his team (19-15). At 21-16, Snippe was
brought in again for the serve, but this time his service landed behind the
opposing backline. A good smash from Bontje brought the 23rd Dutch point, and
Horstink brought an end to the first set point with an amazing spike through
the center. Captain Trommel finished the job for his team with a well-placed
In the third set, the Dutch started vigorously and soon
had a modest lead of two points (6-4, 8-6). Van Harskamp's variation in setting
apparently confused the Chinese and made Jianan call for a timeout at 10-7. The
Dutch remained focused and reached the second technical timeout with a
five-point lead. China tried to change the tide, but the Dutch block was
ruthless. At 19-12 coach Jianan called his team to the sidelines again, but the
Netherlands simply had the better squad today (22-14). A serve into the net by
Jiang Kun brought the Dutch their match point and Cui Jianjun offered it by
smashing into the net (25-15).
"Today the difference between the teams was bigger
and our team resolved the problems we had earlier using our substitutes,"
said Dutchman Wytze Kooistra. "I am very curious about (next opponents)
Italy. I hope we can play well against them again. We have the potential and
the players to do well against every opponent here in the Netherlands."
Teammate Yannick van Harskamp added: "We didn't
start well with our serve, but Jan Willem made the difference in the first set.
I think that broke the Chinese for the rest of the match. If we manage to
maintain this playing level, we can conquer a lot of teams."