Kielce, Poland, August 1, 2009: On Saturday game between two European teams the Netherlands showed its strength and beat hosts Poland 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-21). The Dutch team improved its record having 2 wins in two games. Poland still haven’t won the WGP game in front of the public crowd.
Manon Flier – the Dutch team captain was chosen as the MVP of the match (she gained 19 points). Maret Grothues added 10 points while the best scorer of the Polish team – Anna Baranska earned 11 points.
Both teams will face each other in the same pool (A) in occasion of the European Championships which will be staged in Poland from 25.09-04.10, so it was for them a chance to check the abilities and current shape of the forthcoming rival.
Comparing to the Friday game Avital Selinger made two changes in the first line-up (Alice Blom replaced Chaine Staelens while Robin de Kruijf substituted Caroline Wensink). Jerzy Matlak made only one change comparing to the game against Thailand (middle blocker Katarzyna Gajgal replaced Dorota Pykosz).
The Dutch girls started the game more aggressively (Manon Flier) on the service and went on to 3 point’s advantage (1-4). Polish team response was very quick and thanks to the efficient counter-attacks (by middle blocker – Katarzyna Gajgal) Poles took the lead (5-4). At the first TTO the scoreboard was 8-7 for Poland. The excellent back-row attack by Anna Baranska gave Polish team 2 point’s advantage (9-7) but the Dutch team immediately tied the score (9-9) and after an ace by Maret Grothues regained the lead (9-10). Until the second TTO when the score was 16-14 for Poland, the battle between those two teams was very competitive (11-11, 13-13). However, Poles were more efficient in the counter-attacks (especially spiker Anna Baranska). The impressive reaction of Manon Flier and Alice Blom from the back-row gave another draw (16-16). At that stage of the set Poles could count on their opposite – Joanna Kaczor who executed the balls despite the Dutch block. Poland jump out to 20-18 but Dorota Swieniewicz hit the easy ball out and once again Netherlands equalized the score (20-20). The end of the set was very exciting for the local audience – nearly 3.000 supporters who created great atmosphere. An ace by Chaine Staelens gave the Dutch team a set point (22-24). Despite the amazing support from the audience Polish girls didn’t manage to reduce the difference and lost the set (23-25).
In the second set Anna Wozniakowska replaced captain Dorota Swieniewicz in the first line-up and Poles went on 2-0. A few minutes later the score was leveled (3-3, 6-6). Thanks to the block on Agnieszka Bednarek the Dutch team took the lead at the first TTO (7-8). Two mistakes by Joanna Kaczor in attack also due to the bad reception of Anna Baranska gave the Netherlands 3 point’s margin (7-10). Jerzy Matlak decided to replace opposite Joanna Kaczor and put Aleksandra Jagielo (reception player) into the court. Thanks to the better efficiency in attack and stronger service Poles managed to equalize the score (11-11) but their rivals answered very quickly (11-14). Manon Flier and Alice Blom lead their team with the 3 point’s margin at the second TTO (13-16). When Poles reduced the difference to 2 points (16-18) Avital Selinger asked for the time-out to motivate his players. Polish team was trying to catch up with the Netherlands but the Dutch girls stayed focused and consistent until the end of the set (20-25). The difference between the teams was especially in attack as Polish players couldn’t force the Dutch block.
After 10 minutes interval for the entertainment Polish team seemed to be more determined. At the beginning of the set they jumped out into 3-0. When Poles managed to stopped even Manon Flier their advantage grew up to 4 points (6-2).The host team maintained the lead at the first TTO (8-4). Then Dutch girls started their chase (8-6). However, Joanna Kaczor and Aleksandra Jagielo executed the balls in attack (11-7). An ace by Francien Huurman and counter-attack by Alice Blom gave Netherlands opportunity to cut the margin (11-10). Thanks to the strong service of the biggest star on the court (Manon Flier) and efficient attack by Alice Blom Netherland regained the lead (12-13). At the second TTO the score was advantageous for Dutch team (14-16). An ace by Anna Baranska gave a hope for the host team (16-17) but the situation was very difficult as the Dutch players controlled the game especially in attack. Furthermore, Poles couldn’t stop the incredible Manon Flier and ultimately lost this set by 21-25.