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Dutch down Dominicans in three in Tokyo

The Netherlands Dijkema Laura celebrates a point against the Dominican Republic on Saturday
 Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2010 – The Netherlands got back to winning ways on Saturday with a three-set victory (25-19, 25-22, 25-20) over the Dominican Republic in the FIVB 2010 Women's World Grand Prix in Tokyo.

Manon Flier was the top scorer for the Dutch with 17 points, while Lisvel Eve topped the scorers for the Dominican Republic with 11.

The first set started in a fairly subdued fashion with both sides making errors. It was all-square at 11-11 when the Dutch pulled away, thanks in part to three Dominican errors. The scrappy play continued as the Netherlands moved into a five-point lead at 19-14 when Dominican coach Marcos Kwiek called a timeout to try and help his players regroup. Six points later Kwiek brought his players off court again as they struggled to match the Netherlands' consistency. A wide shot by Marianne Fersola brought up setpoint for the Dutch and a spike by Manon Flier put them one set up.

Two points into the second set Kwiek was already unhappy, as Flier and Caroline Wensink found big holes in the Dominican defense. On top of that, the Dominicans were having setting problems, which left their big hitters stranded. But some good serves by Fersola and Cindy Rondon brought the Dominican team to life. The Dominican Republic went ahead on two unreturnable serves from Rondon and two Dutch errors saw them go four points ahead at the second technical timeout. When the Dutch failed to get a serve from Lisvel Eve back, coach Avital Selinger took his second timeout of the set and it had an immediate effect. After the Dominican Republic dropped the next three points, Kwiek had to take a timeout to get his team back on track. A spike and a brutal serve by Sidarka Nunez seemed to have done the trick, but the Dominicans still suffered organizational problems and the scores were level at 21-21 and again at 22. A big block by Laura Dijkema on Eve made it 23-22 for the Dutch. Eve then spiked wide and Maret Grothues clinched the set with a spike.

With the scores at 5-5 in the third set, the Dominicans showed great defensive skill, but lost the next point when Fersola netted her spike. The Dutch moved into a three-point lead behind a great block and two hits from Flier, and were four points ahead at the second TTO. After the Dominican Republic closed to within two at 19-17, the Dutch pulled away again. A huge spike by Flier made it 23-19, a great block by Dijkema on Altagracia Mambru brought up matchpoint and Wensink finished the match with a cross-court spike.

On Sunday, the Netherlands will face Japan, while the Dominican Republic will meet Italy.


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