FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Netherlands one step away from return to World League

Tony Krolis scored the most points against the Dominican Republic in the first World League qualification round

Rotterdam, Netherlands, August 29, 2012 - To return to the World League – the most prestigious international volleyball event – the Dutch men’s volleyball team had to beat two countries.

Last weekend, they passed their first hurdle by defeating the Dominican Republic twice in front of the home crowd in Rotterdam. This weekend it will be Portugal that comes to play two more matches in Rotterdam, the final opponent standing between the Netherlands and qualification for Word League 2013.

“The first step is made, defeating the Dominican Republic,” said Netherlands coach Edwin Benne. “So far, everything goes according plan. Winning the first match in straight sets gave us a lot of confidence for the second day.”

Despite good results, Benne is still looking for improvement.

“I think we can improve our serving and blocking. But these are small details. Last weekend we played well and I am very satisfied. The Dominicans have a great team with fantastic athletic volleyball players.”

While the Netherlands look to earn promotion to the World League, it is up to Portugal to hold them off. The Portuguese finished World League 2012 in 16th and last position, and must therefore beat the Netherlands to keep their place in the competition.

“Portugal is slightly favoured,” said Benne. “We are a young growing team, while Portugal has played in the World League for years. But I think there are opportunities. We have won a lot this year against higher-ranked teams, like Finland, Australia and Slovakia.”

The prospect of playing in the World League, against all of the best national teams, motivates the Dutch players. Benne said he notices that every day during training.

“It is very important for the team to work towards a common goal, so that everyone feels they have something to win,” said Benne. “If all goes well, we will play in the European Championship and the World League next year. For the players, there is nothing better than that.”

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