FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Dutch maintain unbeaten WL record against Japan

Jelte Maan, the smallest attacker on Dutch side, was the top scorer in Apeldoorn with 17 points

Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, June 9, 2013 - The Netherlands’ joined Finland at the top of Pool C after an impressive straight sets (25-20, 25-21, 25-18) win over Japan in Apeldoorn on Sunday.

The victory means the Netherlands are equal with Finland on points (nine) with three wins and a defeat – a similar record to the world No. 30 after four matches in Pool C. The winner of the group will advance to the FIVB World League Finals.

The Netherlands, who are ranked 36th in the world, remain unbeaten against world No. 19 Japan in the World League (six matches, six wins), losing only one set (Saturday’s 3-1 win).

Jelte Maan, the smallest man on the Dutch side, top scored with 17 points with Yu Koshikawa Japan’s best with 11.

Maan opened the score of the second match in Apeldoorn with a kill block. The Netherlands stayed on the good side of the score up to 5-4, when Japan's second best scorer of the day with 10 points Tatsuya Fukuzawa managed beat Dutch defence. An out served ball of Japanese team captain Kota Yamamura followed by a net fault of Daisuke Yako created a gap for the Dutch (12-9). Japan however managed to get back in the game and when Fukuzawa blocked a spike of Wytze Kooistra, the margin had diminished to one point at 14-13. The longest rally in the opening set was won by the visiting team (18-17), but the squad of coach Gary Sato was not able to take back the lead again. Maan’s 5th block point brought set point for the Dutch 24-20, which was cashed immediately.

Both teams were quite equal in the first phase of the second act, resulting in a minor lead for the Netherlands at the first technical time out 8-7. The "orange" crowd in Apeldoorn started getting louder when Maan scored with an ace (12-9) and when captain Rob Bontje followed up from mid court with an unstoppable spike, Omnisport practically exploded (15-12). Sato tried to stop the Dutch train by making a double substitution, but the home team unshakably marched towards the end of the set. The always inspired Maan ended the second set with another unstoppable spike (25-21).

Japan made an unlucky start to the third set with two service faults giving the Netherlands the lead at 5-3. The team of coach Edwin Benne pumped up the pressure (7-3), whereas Japan struggled to keep pace. The
Japanese reception did not function as well as Saturday's game and when Wytze Kooistra further emphasised the problem with an unstoppable spike, Sato had to use his second time out at 12-7. The Japanese kept on failing in their service, thus helping the Dutch to widen the gap (17-11). At 17-12, Niels Klapwijk made his return to the court and seemed to fit in immediately. Japan continued to struggle against the Dutch block and it wasn't long before the end of the set and the match seemed close (23-16). Finally Dutch top scorer Maan (17 points) closed the second match in Apeldoorn at 25-18.

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