Kielce, Poland, 31 July, 2009: The Netherlands showed a classy performance and defeated Japan in straight sets (13-25,19-25, 20-25).
The second game of the day between Japan and Netherlands wasn’t as competitive as expected. The Dutch players showed their dominance and beat Japanese convincingly thanks to the powerful block and attack.
The best scorer was Chaine Staelens (17 points). Manon Flier added 13 points while Maiko Sakashita from Japan scored 14 points.
In the first set the Dutch team dominated the game completely from the beginning to the end. They took the lead (8-4) thanks to the efficient attacks (mainly by Chaine Staelens), strong service and high block. Although the Japanese players defended a lot of balls they couldn’t finish the counter-attacks due to the powerful and extremely high Dutch block. The dominance of the Netherlands was unquestioned (14-8, 16-9) and ultimately Dutch girls won the set very high (13-25).
The second set was very similar as Japanese players still couldn’t force the Dutch block. After impressive block on Yuki Shoji the Netherlands was leading 3-8 on the first technical time-out. Later on the Japanese team thanks to the ambitious play in defense and successful counter-attacks reduced the difference (13-14). The Netherlands started to make easy mistakes in attack and defense and the game became more equal. However the Dutch team maintained the lead in the second TTO (13-16). When Netherlands started to capitalize the attacks (also the back-row attacks) their advantage was growing up (17-22). Thanks to the block on Saori Kimura and an ace presented by the captain Manon Flier the Netherlands won the second set 19-25.
After two disappointing sets the Japanese team head coach – Masayoshi Manabe decided to change the setter and put on the field very experienced Yoshie Takeshita. Japan started the set very determined and concentrated showing a nice, combination play and clever service (7-5). They were leading at the first technical time out by 2 points (8-6). The Netherlands’ answer was very quick and thanks to the successful counter-attacks the Dutch girls regained the lead (9-11). After an ace by Maiko Sakashita Japan leveled the score (15-15) but the Netherlands maintained the lead in the second TTO (15-16). When Maiko Sakashita was stopped by the Dutch block it was 15-18 in favour of the Netherlands. Although Japanese presented some incredible digs and rallies in defense they still couldn’t break the Dutch block and ultimately lost the set by 20-25 and a whole game 0-3.
On Saturday the Netherlands will play against hosts Poland while Japan against Thailand.