Tampere, Finland, July 5, 2013. The Netherlands received a boost of confidence on Friday, after winning close sets against Finland finishing 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 23-25).
“What gave us the win is what Finland has lacked the last couple of weeks; the self-confidence,” Netherland’s coach Edwin Benne said. “We have the confidence, we have won tight sets and matches, which gives confidence. The assuredness when we reached 20, 22 points in a set was there, we were cool enough to close out the sets.”
The Dutch won the second set from a tie at 20, after preserving three-points lead and allowing Finland to take two straight points during the stretch. In the fourth set, the Netherlands outscored Finland 4-1 after reaching its 20th point.
“You cannot get the confidence easily, you have to fight for it,” Benne said. “We had the momentum towards the end of sets and it helped a lot. We knew it would be a tough game, we have respect for Finland.”
Finland’s Tuomas Sammelvuo, a former player, has coached the team since spring. He said he wants a stronger team mentally from his players.
”We have to be mentally better in the last moments,” he said. “It’s hard enough to score the last points. You have to be able to do hard decisions. But overall we played better today than last weekend. Not great, but with a better attitude, a will to win. But sometimes sport is terrible like this.”
“Tomorrow is the final game for us here, and we will do everything to get points.”
Netherland’s captain Rob Bontje, who played sparsely, admitted that the game could have gone the other way.
“We did not win a beauty contest, it was a fighting match,” Bontje said. “Both teams had problems finding a good rhythm in the mental aspect and in the reception, but we could make the decisive points at the end. The result could have been different, it was very close as you can see from the score.”
Finland’s captain Antti Siltala thought that the game was of a good standard.
“The Dutch played a great game, but for us this went into a better direction, much better than last weeks,” Siltala said. “But we must find a way to finish the sets. I don’t know if it was about being afraid, or what. But the level was pretty high, and they played well too.”
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