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Press releases
Netherlands land first title at the FIVB World Grand Prix in style

Ningbo, August 26, 2007 - Uprising European powerhouse the Netherlands landed their first title at the FIVB World Grand Prix in style after beating world champions Russia 3-2 here on Sunday for a perfect record in the six-team round-robin Finals.


The orange contingent held off a strong surge from Russia to take the 21-25, 25-18, 25-13, 20-25 and 15-8 victory, becoming the sixth team to win the renowned title.  It is also the first trophy for the Dutch women in history at major international competitions.


The Netherlands also took home the top prize of 200,000 US dollars with the Most Valuable Player award going to Manon Flier, who led the Netherlands with 20 points on Sunday.


"It is an achievement for Dutch volleyball, as it is the first time the women’s team won the title of a major tournament in the world," said Netherlands coach Avital Selinger. "I feel proud of the players and happy for the lessons they taught me, because I was not able to do that as a player."


The Netherlands completed a wonderful journey in this year's FIVB World Grand Prix, recording ten wins in a row connecting the preliminaries and the final round.


"We work very hard and it is another proof that if we work hard we would win more than you lose," added the wonder-making coach, who remained calm and cool as usual at the press conference after the match.


"I never thought of winning the first place, never," he said. "I was able to be calm and enjoy the game today."


The Dutch players burst out with joy after the well-earned victory, chanting and singing loudly in the locker room.


"It was a big surprise to beat Russia and we did a great job this week," said Dutch captain Ingrid Visser, who contributed 11 points. "I should say congratulations to my teammates, the coach and the coaching staff.  It is a great feeling. I am proud of what we did here."


The Russian team, who lost to China in a five-set thriller Saturday evening, started well in the early match of the day, running off four straight points to overtake the lead at 19-17 and went on to clinch the opener.


Then the Netherlands rallied to dominate the game and take the next two sets easily, before Russia staged a 6-1 run for an unshakable 23-17 lead en route to the victory in the fourth.


In the tiebreaker, the Dutch women were unstoppable, jumping to a 3-0 cushion and never looked back.


“They did a great job in the last two years. Mr. Selinger set up an example in boosting the team’s confidence and level,” said Russia coach Giovanni Caprara. “They work hard, play well and try to be patient. It is a great success, and they deserve the title.”


The hosts China could be satisfied with the second place after sweeping three-time defending champions Brazil 25-21, 25-21 and 25-13 in the last match of the tournament Sunday evening.


Following an opening loss to the Netherlands, the Chinese women reaped four wins in a row to take the silver medal with eight points.


While the Brazilians, who entered the Finals as top title favorites with the best results in the preliminaries, came in a disappointing fifth after dropping the last four of five matches, thanks for better points win-loss ratio over Poland.


FIVB World Grand Prix Finals debutants Poland finally pulled off a consolation win over Italy 25-21, 25-18 and 25-19, snapping their four-match losing streak.


“We won the first match at the tournament, we really wanted to win,” said Poland captain Dorota Swieniewicz. “We had won six matches in a row in the preliminaries and that caused physical problems to us.”


Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata led Poland, who settled for the bottom on a 1-4 record, with 14 points and Swieniewicz added 11.


Italy and Russia were both on a 2-3 record while the Italians ranked third above the world champions with better points win-loss ratio.


Award winners:

Best spiker: Taismary Aguero, Italy

Best blocker: Eleonora Dziekiewicz, Poland

Best server: Yang Hao, China

Best libero, Zhang Xian, China

Best setter: Wei Qiuyue, China

Best scorer: Taismary Aguero, Italy

Most Valuable Player: Manon Flier, the Netherlands


More press releases
25.08.2007 China chases Netherlands in FIVB World Grand Prix title race  
24.08.2007 Netherlands march toward first FIVB World Grand Prix title  
23.08.2007 Flier sparkles to lift Netherlands to second straight win at FIVB World Grand Prix Finals  
22.08.2007 Brazil, Italy, Netherlands claim opening wins at FIVB World Grand Prix Finals  
21.08.2007 Top teams to charge at Grand Prix final round at Ningbo, China  
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21.08.2007 China Gets Ready for the Final Round  
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20.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round: match schedule for the six contenders  
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15.08.2007 World Grand Prix round in Macau: press conference  
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12.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: Brazil, Russia and Poland dominate the second leg  
09.08.2007 China women's team and China veteran women's team reunion in Hong Kong  
09.08.2007 Meet the Player Press conference in Hong Kong, dramatic game between Italy and Poland  
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08.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: three pools in Japan, Russia and Hong Kong (China) to play the second leg from Friday  
08.08.2007 Dutch on the way up, says Selinger  
08.08.2007 Russia debuts as organizer of a World Grand Prix pool: press conference  
05.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: Cuba, Brazil and Russia are the first ladies after the starting week end  
05.08.2007 World Grand Prix 2007: third and last day of games in Poland  
04.08.2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: second day of matches in Poland  
02.08.2007 FIVB World Grand Prix in Poland – Friday matches preview  
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31.07.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: 12 of the world best Women's teams ready to challenge  
31.07.2007 Dominicans aim to keep climbing  
30.07.2007 Tokyo braces for Typhoon Nancy  
27.07.2007 Olympic memories spur Omura  
26.07.2007 Seven Olympians in Japan’s Grand Prix squad  
25.07.2007 China sets target at World Grand Prix: to enter top three  
29.06.2007 Volleyball Association of Hong Kong welcomes sponsor “HK Health Check” for the FIVB World Grand Prix  
28.06.2007 Dominican Republic and Brazil qualified to FIVB World Grand Prix  
26.06.2007 Cuba and USA qualified for 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix  
18.06.2007 TBS launch Grand Prix countdown  
23.05.2007 Cuba and the Dominican Republic to play in China in preparation for the 2007 World Grand Prix  
22.05.2007 Chinese team's plans for the 2007 season  
16.05.2007 World MVP targets top teams  
21.03.2007 Marco Bonitta appointed new head coach of the Polish National Women's team  
22.01.2007 Kazakhstan to debut in 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix as replacement for Thailand  
22.01.2007 Kazajstán debutará en el Grand Prix Mundial 2007 reemplazando a Tailandia  
26.10.2006 FIVB President announces Ningbo as host of 2007 World Grand Prix final round