FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Netherlands book encounter with Portugal in second round of WL 2013 qualifiers

The Netherlands celebrate winning the second set, thereby confirming a World League 2013 qualification second round encounter against Portugal next weekend in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, August 25, 2012 – World No. 41 the Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic, ranked 45th in the world, 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 30-28, 16-14) on Saturday to record their second win in as many matches and days against the visitors to confirm their place in the second round of the World League 2013 qualification process where they will play Portugal.

After a straight sets win against the Dominican Republic on Friday, the Netherlands only needed one set to win the first round encounter and despite a slight scare when the Dominican Republic won the first set, Edwin Benne’s team did what was necessary by winning the second set. They then went on to win the match.

Dutch coach Benne had said he wanted his side to win their second match despite only needing to win one setto advance. They duly obliged despite being pushed to 16-14 in the fifth. Humphrey Krolis, who was the sixth highest scorer in the first match with nine points, became the top scorer in the second with 24. Elvis Dalsires Contrera De Los Sant was one of five Dominicans in double figures, leading the way with 19 points.

Bas van Bemmelen, who replaced Dutch captain Rob Bontje, opened the scoring. But it was the Dominican Republic who had the better part of the play in the opening phase. With Friday’s top scorer and captain Jose Miguel Caceres on service, the Dominican lead grew to 13-10. The hosts managed to get back into the game at 14-13 but when the Dominicans accelerated again, they claimed the next two points. Some great play from setter Nimir Abdelaziz surprised the Dominican defence and allowed the Dutch to close the gap to 17-17 before Contrera De Los Santos went on a roll, scoring almost every ball he hit to give his side the lead 23-20. The Dutch weren’t prepared to lie down, though, and they scored three points in a row to tie the set at 23-23 before the Dominican Republic finally cashed in their third set point through Contrera De Los Santos, after an exciting closing phase, to win their first ever set against the Netherlands 27-25.

In the second act, the Dutch immediately took back the initiative at 5-2. The Central Americans eagerly fought themselves back into the set at 12-11 before the Netherlands’ top scorer from Friday Jelte Maan scored two points in a row, which gave the home team some breathing space at 17-14. Though Dominican coach Osiel Vázquez tried to change the tide by making key substitutions, he could not stop the Dutch train. Libero Gijs Jorna made some incredible saves and Tony Krolis was flying at the net, delivering unstoppable spikes time and again. Maan was successful on the second Dutch set point to spark scenes of celebration as qualification to the next round was secured.

Though there was nothing at stake any more, both teams maintained a high level of intensity in the third set. A kill block by Pedro Luis Garcia levelled the score for the first time at 9-9. An unstoppable spike from Garcia put the Dominicans in front at 18-17 before the Dutch took back the lead by scoring three points in a row. The Dominicans kept their cool to lead 23-22 and despite a Netherlands timeout, prevailed to go 2-1 up.

In the fourth set, Benne brought in Nico Freriks for Abdelaziz, Thijs ter Horst for Jeroen Rauwerdink and captain Rob Bontje starting in the position of Wytze Kooistra. After a well spiked ball from Bontje, the Dutch reached the first technical timeout with a two point lead. Though the Dominicans managed to level the score again at 14-14, the Dutch regained the lead at 17-14 with Maan on the service line. A few minutes later an ace by Krolis brought the Dutch their 20th point, but a well placed block by Contrera De Los Santos prevented Bontje from scoring. After a long, exciting rally, the Dominicans were on the good side of the score again at 22-21. At 23-22, a netted service by Bontje brought the Dominican Republic their first match point at 24-23 but the Dominican service landed behind the back line. The team of Vázquez also missed their second and third match point, after which Krolis brought up the first set point for the hosts at 27-26. Finally Ter Horst managed to end the fourth set in favour of the home team: 30-28.

Vázquez started the decisive set with his second setter Fransisco Alberto Abreu Lopez. The quick play was a treat to the Dutch fans who saw their team take an 8-4 lead. The Dominican Republic managed to get back on track at 9-8 before Garcia gave them the lead at 11-10. Well placed blocks by Bontje and Ter Horst stopped the powerful attacks of Palomino, providing the Dutch their first match point at 14-13, before long ball by the Dominican Republic ended the match in favour of the hosts 16-14.

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