Fired-up Netherlands get off to winning start as World Grand Prix begins
Avital Selinger, the Netherlands coach, talks tactics as his side picks up an opening win on the first day of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix
Chengdu, China, August 6, 2010 - The Netherlands picked up their first win of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix with a straight-sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-23) win over Thailand in Chengdu, China as the 18th edition of the tournament got under way on Friday.
FIVB President, Mr Jizhong Wei was in attendance as the 2007 champions laid down the marker for Pool C.
Both teams started aggressively with the lead changing many times. Thailand took the early lead and were ahead until late in the set when the Dutch eventually closed the gap before Caroline Wensink's powerful spike gave the European side the first set.
Thailand again went on the rampage early in the second set, gaining a four point lead thanks to a number of solid spikes from captain Wilavan Apinyapong. However mistakes began to creep into Asian Champions game and the Netherlands duly took advantage to again steal the set.
The Netherlands coach Avital Selinger was forced to call an early time out in the third as Thailand dominated proceedings up to the first technical time out. Things didn’t improve for the Dutch following the break as Amporn Hyapha contributed a number of powerful spikes to extend the lead. However the Netherlands managed to fight back and drew level at 14-all and despite a passionate display from the Thai girls they couldn't find the momentum as the Dutch saw out the match.
The Netherlands will now face Puerto Rico on Saturday as Thailand battle their Asian rivals China. Puerto Rico and China will face each other later today.