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15/06/2012 23:00
The Netherlands and the Czech Republic start off with straight wins
2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Men

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 15, 2012.  The men’s national team of the Netherlands started their home round of the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League in an outstanding way. Austria was defeated in straight sets: 3:0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-22).
The Dutch started prosperously in Rotterdam today - the first five points were for the home team. Austria simply could not find an answer to the fierce Dutch attacks and as the set advanced, the margin grew steadily (11-5, 16-9). A serve of 117 km/h of the home team’s setter Nimir Abdelaziz was the precursor of the 22nd Dutch point, whereas the Austrians had only collected thirteen points up to that moment. The Netherlands were unstoppable and ended the set with a margin of no less then ten points.
In the second set, again the Netherlands dominated. Though Austria started better this time, soon most of their attacks were encountered by well-placed Dutch blocks. An ace by Abdelaziz brought 10-6 onto the scoreboard, and though the Austrians kept on trying to get a grip on the match, the Netherlands were practically unstoppable (17-11, 21-13). A ball spiked out by Austrian Philip Ichovski presented the Netherlands their set-point, which was cashed eagerly by Thomas Koelewijn.
In the third act, again the Dutch took a lead of 5-0, but this time Austria got back into the game and managed to even the score at 14-14. An ace by Wytze Kooistra brought back the lead to the home team and though Austria kept on track, it always had at least a two-point arrear. Substitute Nico Freriks brought the Dutch a match-point with an ace (24-20), and the match was closed at 25-22.
Dutch coach Edwin Benne was content with his team today. ”Everything went well, the guys are more fresh after a weekend off and that was ocular. Still, we need to play at least this well tomorrow and on Sunday to be able to beat Romania and the Czech Republic as well.”  ”Because we managed to put on the pressure from the start with our serves, side-out and blocking, we made it a lot easier for ourselves today”, Tony Krolis said after the match.
After the loss to Romania on home ground last week, the Czech Republic was eager to win the clash in Rotterdam earlier this afternoon. They succeeded in their third duel against Romania in the 2012 CEV European League Volleyball: 3:0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-20).
With Karel Linz serving in the opening set, the Czechs managed to score five points in a row (10-5). That margin was never jeopardized, the team of Dutch coach Stewart Bernard expeditiously marched to their first set-point (24-20). Despite of a miraculous save by Romania, Linz closed the set in favor of the Czech Republic.
In the second set, again the Czech Republic took a quick lead (10-6), but this time Romania came back on track to narrow the gap to 11-10. After a -laced ball by Romania’s Elen Tofan the score almost leveled once again at 14-13, but then the Czechs accelerated to 23-15. Romania then cashed in four points in a row, but Bernard’s team kept cool and took a 2-0 lead in sets.
In the third act, Romania managed to take the lead in the opening phase (4-2) and when the Czech Republic started making unforced errors Bernard called his team on the side at 6-10. When that did not produce the effect wanted, the Czech coach substituted Tomas Hysky for Adam Bartos. The Czechs managed to get back on track and evened the score at 15 all, after which they took back the lead. Romania could not keep up with the match winner anymore and at 20-25 the opening match in Rotterdam came to its end.
Click here for more information, including detailed stats of the matches

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