Lublin, Poland, August 2, 2015 – Finishing first in Group 2 of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix by defeating Poland in straight sets in Sunday’s final in Lublin, the Netherlands secured their ticket for the World Grand Prix Group 1 in 2016. Poland finish second, the Czech Republic third and Puerto Rico fourth in the final ranking of Group 2.
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 (25-19, 25-19, 25-16) 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.
Earlier on Sunday, the Czech Republic clinched the third place of the World Grand Prix Group 2 by outlasting World No. 15 Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-18, 12-25, 25-21, 25-17). It was the third World Grand Prix meeting between these two nations. With Sunday’s victory, Czech Republic take the lead 2-1.
Best scorer of the third place match was Puerto Rico’s Aurea Cruz with 18 points. Karina Ocasio contributed 11 kills for the Caribbean side. Veronika Trnkova and captain Helena Havelkova were the top scorers for the winners with 14 points each. The Czech Republic had the edge in blocking (13-5) and in serving (9-4).
Puerto Rico had their best moments in the second set (25-12) but were not consistent enough to put sufficient pressure on the Czech spikers. The East Europeans, on the other hand, served and blocked brilliantly to eventually seal victory after 106 minutes.
Final day results
Places 1-2: The Netherlands vs Poland 3-0
Places 3-4: Czech Republic vs Puerto Rico 3-1
The Netherlands vs Czech Republic 3-0
Poland vs Puerto Rico 3-1
1. The Netherlands
3. Czech Republic
4. Puerto Rico
Top scoring performances
21 – Katarzyna Zaroslinska of Poland vs Puerto Rico (August 1)
19 – Lonneke Slöetjes of the Netherlands vs Poland (August 2)
18 – Aurea Cruz of Puerto Rico v the Netherlands (August 2)
Top scoring performances by team
96 – Poland vs Puerto Rico (August 1)
87 – Czech Republic vs Puerto Rico (August 2)
85 – Puerto Rico vs Poland (August 1)
Top blocking performances
9 – Veronika Trnkova of Czech Republic vs Puerto Rico (August 2)
6 – Anne Buijs of the Netherlands vs Poland (August 2)
Top blocking performances by team
14 – Puerto Rico vs Poland (August 1)
13 – Czech Republic vs Puerto Rico (August 2)
13 – The Netherlands vs Poland (August 2)
Top serving performances
3 – Pavla Vincourova of Czech Republic vs Puerto Rico (August 2)
3 – Veronika Trnkova of Czech Republic vs Puerto Rico (August 2)
3 – Aurea Cruz of Puerto Rico vs Czech Republic (August 2)
3 – Anne Buijs of the Netherlands vs Czech Republic (August 1)
Top serving performances by team
9 – Czech Republic vs Puerto Rico (August 2)
6 – Poland vs Puerto Rico (August 1)
Highest set score
27-25 – The Netherlands vs Czech Republic (August 1)
25-23 – Poland vs Puerto Rico (August 1)