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23/08/2017 22:28
The Netherlands rout Belgium to set sights on ticket to 2018 World Champs
2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Women

Rotterdam, Netherlands, August 23, 2017. On the second day of the third-round European qualifier for the 2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship, The Netherlands and Bulgaria added a second straight victory to their records. Bulgaria were too strong for the Czech Republic, and The Netherlands booked a smashing 3-0 victory over Belgium before a sell-out crowd at Topsportcentrum in Rotterdam. The youngsters from Slovenia won their first match, after defeating Greece 3-0. The winners and runners-up of this single round robin tournament will book their ticket to Japan – where the 2018 edition of the women’s World Championship will be taking place two years prior to the much-anticipated Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Czech Republic vs. Bulgaria 1-3 (25-18, 24-26, 16-25, 21-25)

In the opening match on Wednesday afternoon, Bulgaria made sure they stayed unbeaten in the tournament. After losing the first set, Elitsa Vasileva (19 points) took her team by the hand towards a 3-1 victory.  

Elitsa Vasileva, captain of Team Bulgaria: “It was a difficult game; we couldn’t reach a consistent level. However, I am proud and happy we made the big points and won the game. We did not play our best Volleyball, so we can still improve. We need to show a more consistent level to earn one of the available spots for the World Championship. The last two matches are going to be really important.”

Ivan Dimitrov, Bulgaria coach: “This week there are no easy matches. The level is incredibly high and all the teams want the same thing. It is too early to think about more, since first we need to win tomorrow against Greece. We need to book a quick victory, so that we save energy for the big games coming up this weekend.”

Aneta Havlickova, captain of Team Czech Republic: “It was a tough game and the team who made fewer mistakes eventually won. I think the experience of Bulgaria made the difference today.”

Zdenek Pommer, Czech Republic coach: “We started really well. However, at the important moments, we did not play as a team. It became difficult to score points, and the Bulgarians blocked really well.”

Greece vs. Slovenia 0-3 (17-25, 22-25, 19-25)

Later in the afternoon, the young team of Slovenia booked a solid 3-0 victory over Greece. Iza Mlakar from Slovenia crowned herself as top scorer of the match with 17 points.

Eva Mori, captain of Team Slovenia: “This match was much better than yesterday’s game. Our coach told us to enjoy every moment on the court in this tournament, and that helped us today. Some of our players played in The Netherlands before, at the 2015 European Championship. The Dutch audience is very nice. I am excited for the match against the home team on Saturday.”
Alessandro Chiappini, Slovenia coach: “We started this match with more confidence than yesterday. We served very well, and our block-defence strategy worked out perfectly as well. Only in side-out we can still improve the level of our performance.”

Aikaterina Giota, captain of Team Greece: “Between the qualification tournament in May and this one, we played no matches, not even to practice. I think that is why we are not showing our best level yet. I hope we can fix some things in the upcoming matches and that we can improve game after game.”

Ioannis Orfanos, assistant coach of Greece: “I am disappointed with the result of this match. We started badly and we suffered the same problems as yesterday, especially in passing. We must continue this tournament with good moral, our next game against Bulgaria is very important.”

Belgium vs. The Netherlands 0-3 (18-25, 18-25, 22-25)

In the clash between the Low Countries, The Netherlands booked a smashing 3-0 victory over Belgium. Lonneke Slöetjes was the eventual top scorer with 14 points, and the talented Nika Daalderop impressed with 13 of her own.  

Jamie Morrison, coach of The Netherlands: “I’m very proud of the way my team played tonight. We are ready for the next matches. In the first two matches, we played with different liberos. Every match I have to make a choice between them, but they just keep making each other better.”

Maret Balkestein-Grothues, captain of The Netherlands: “I am so happy with this 3-0 victory over Belgium. This was a typical service-passing match, and we won on these aspects of the game.”

Gert Vande Broek, Belgium coach: “The Netherlands is such a strong team, and I think they actually should have qualified for the World Championship already. Their service pressure was enormous today, and when our passing was not perfect, we were facing a Dutch wall at the net. We kept on fighting until the end, and I think we lost with dignity. In my opinion we are going to fight with the other teams for the second place.”

Charlotte Leys, captain of Team Belgium: “We should not let our heads down after this loss. We know that Holland is a very strong team, and they are probably not our most important opponent this week. We should be able to win against Slovenia and Greece, and on Saturday we play the big clash against Bulgaria.”

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News nr. 4 of 22
24/08/2017 22:00:00
The Netherlands and Bulgaria one win away from qualifying for women’s World Champs
22/08/2017 22:58:00
Oranjes, Yellow Tigers and Lionesses off to good start at women’s World Champs qualifier

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