Netherlands beat Dom Rep in straight sets in opening World League qualifier
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, August 24, 2012 – The Netherlands took a giant step towards returning to the FIVB World League for the first time since 2010 by beating the Dominican Republic in straight sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-21) in the first of two World League 2012 qualification first round matches at the Topsport Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Friday.
The hosts now just need to win one set to advance to the second round of qualification where they will take on Portugal, who finished 16th in the 2012 edition of the World League, for a spot in next year’s edition.
In the second set there was little separating the two teams in the first half. A three man wide Dutch block tied the scores at 10-10 before Castillo spiked superbly to give the Dominican Republic the lead at 14-13. The Dutch drew level again at 17-17 before a stern team talk from coach Edwin Benne helped the Netherlands clinch the second set thanks to a block from Kooistra, which provided the set point, and a spike from Jeroen Rauwerdink.
The last set of the day saw the Netherlands start superbly, leading 5-1 with Kooistra scoring three points in a row. That lead was still intact when the teams reached the first technical time out, but then Caceres also hammered home three points in a row to pull the score back to 8-7. With Emmanuel Lara Calderon on the field for Eduardo Concepcion, the Dominican Republic came back into the game at 15-15. A well placed tip from Maan gave the Netherlands the lead at 18-17 before a block by Abdelaziz and Kooistra on Contreras widened the margin to two points again at 22-20. That caused Dominican Republic coach Osiel Vasquez to call for a time out. However, it didn’t stop the Netherlands as Abdelaziz spiked the 23rd Dutch point, followed by a well-placed serve by Bas van Bemmelen. The first match point was saved by the Dominican Republic before Kooistra ended the match in convincing fashion with a defence-splitting attack.