Lublin, Poland, August 2, 2015 – Finishing first in Group 2 of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix by defeating Poland 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-16) in Sunday’s final clash in Lublin, Poland, the Netherlands secured their ticket for the World Grand Prix Group 1 in 2016.
The Netherlands, World Grand Prix winners in 2007, had already finished atop of the Preliminary Round of Group 2, winning all six of their Pool matches. With Sunday’s win over Poland, they remain the only unbeaten team in the Group 2 competition. The Oranjes had played the final match of the World Grand Prix Group 2 last year as well but had lost to their neighbours Belgium 2-3.
In front of 3’095 fans in Lublin’s Globus hall, the Dutch caught up on Sunday evening with a spectacular straight-set win over hosts Poland.
Best scorer of the final clash was Dutch Lonneke Slöetjes with 19 points while Anne Buijs added 16 kills for Sunday’s winners. Katarzyna Zaroslinska helped the Polish side with twelve points and Natalia Kurnikowska contributed ten kills for the hosts. The Oranjes made the difference with an outstanding offense.
24-year young Slöetjes was the undisputed star in the first set as she led the Oranjes to a rather undisputed 25-19 set win with ten successful spikes. Despite of the huge home crowd cheering for their national heroines, the Poles couldn’t stop the powerful Dutch offense (20 attack kills in the first set!).
The team of Jacek Nawrocki did its best to bounce back in the second set but the Polish ladies mainly saw the Netherlands continuing their run with massive determination and a rock-solid game plan. Even though the home side did their best to prevent the Dutch spikers from continuing their power play, it was not good enough. Slöetjes ended the second period at 25-19 for the Netherlands.
The story of the match didn’t change in the third and last set. The Oranjes quickly took command and never looked back. Captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues closed it out for the Netherlands at 26-16.