FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

The Netherlands end bid in winning form


The Netherlands’ prevail against Cuba in three sets

 Almaty, Kazakhstan, August 18, 2013 – The Netherlands close their bid in the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix with a 4-5 scorecard as they beat Cuba in straight sets, 25-13, 25-23, 25-22 Sunday Baluan Sholak Sport and Culture Palace.

Dutch captain Maret Grothues starred in Sunday’s Pool K match with 12 attacks to boot. She was likewise a factor in the tough defence imposed against the opposing team.

The Netherlands ends their 2013 World Grand Prix campaign with 12 points, while Cuba preformed their worst ever World Grand Prix performance without a single win.

The Netherlands’ side played steadily in the opener, as their hitters paced themselves well against the wide-open defensive stance of Cuba. An 8-3 lead by the first technical time-out was seized by the Dutch, who continued to set up quick plays to outsmart their opponents. The Netherlands’ Quinta Steenbergen and Grothues fired away at the net while Cuba’s Alena Rojas Orta tried to man the centre. Misfires further hounded Cuba’s court as Robin De Kruijf mounted a strong middle game for the Netherlands, to pull away with 25-13 in the first set.

 Anne Buijs and Judith Pietersen engineered the powerful Dutch offence at the flanks in the second set.

Melissa Teresa Vargas Abreu delivered the goods for the Cuban side, but they still needed improvement on their reception. The Dutch took the 8-5 by the first technical time-out and Bruijs continued to lord over the wing. Cuba came to tie the set at 12-all, with Rosanna Giel Ramos sending a hard smash down the middle, but their string of service and attack errors gave the 16-12 lead to the opponents. Yoana Palacio Mendoza later operated both flanks to help bring the score to 19-all.  The set came to a tight race followed by an exchange of service errors. Grothues’ attack sealed the second set at 25-23 for the Dutch team.

 Blocking worked effectively for the Netherlands in the third set, as they were able to eradicate the opponents’ attempts at the net. Cuba tried to retaliate by utilising Rojas Orta and captain Daymara Lescay Cajigal in their frontline. But where Cuba’s blocking stance failed, so did their floor defence.  This only made Grothues (NED) and De Kruijf (NED) more aggressive at the net. The Cubans could no longer sustain proper orchestration of their plays, and they lost the final set at 25-22.

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