Rotterdam, Netherlands, July 6, 2014 –
Netherlands succeeded in their mission to qualify for the Final Four of Group 2
via a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-21) victory over Czech Republic in Pool E of the
Intercontinental Round of the FIVB Volleyball World League at the Topsporthal
The Dutch team only needed to win two sets to earn the ticket to the Final Four in Sydney next week. Nonetheless, the Dutch treated their audience with an intense finish on the seventh week of competition.
· Netherlands have won 4-0 against Czech Republic in this season’s campaign.
· Out of their four wins of Netherlands, only one match ended in straight sets, as they have won once in 3-2 and twice in 3-1 scorelines. The last time they achieved a 3-0 win against the Czech Republic was in the World Championship qualifier in January.
· With the two wins, Netherlands have set their highest number of wins during this century with nine victories.
· Even though setter Nimir Abdel-Aziz did not see action in the match and Netherlands missed his strong serves, eight Dutch players combined for the 75-point total, with two players scoring in double-figures.
· Netherlands outplayed Czech Republic in blocks 9-3, as Michael Parkinson scored three blocks and equalled the entire output of the Czech team.
Czech Republic collected their first three
points from the service errors of the Netherlands, but the Dutch side still got
through the first technical timeout with a three-point advantage 8-5. After an
ace from Robin Overbeeke, the margin grew to five points 15-10 that continued
until the closing points of the first set. This prompted Czech Republic coach
Zdenek Smejkal to call his team on the side at 22-16. Dutch setter Yannick Van
Harskamp gave a perfect back set to Overbeeke to get set point 24-18. Czech
Republic managed to get two more points before Michael Parkinson ended the opening
Czech Republic managed to score first in the second set. Dick Kooy’s spike gave the Dutch side the advantage and signal their run to stay ahead 12-9. Shortly after that, an ace from Thomas Koelewijn gave more cushion to the Dutch lead 14-9. As their lead grew, the Dutch established tougher defence at the net that prevented five Czech points, and then unleashed powerful spikes on the court of the visiting side. Smejkal substituted Tomas Siroky for Radek Mach as their deficit ballooned to 20-12. The Czech coach could not get the plays he wanted even with the substitution, while the Dutch pulled through with a set point scored by captain Kooy and a block from their setter Van Harskamp to seal the second set win 25-16.
Both teams fought closely in the third set until the deadlock at 12-all. Netherlands broke the tie and scored four straight points. The Dutch team led throughout and a Thijs Ter Horst smash led to set point 24-19. Czech Republic saved two more points until they succumbed to the Dutch dominance as Overbeeke sealed the victory for the home team 25-21.
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