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22/08/2017 22:58
Oranjes, Yellow Tigers and Lionesses off to good start at women’s World Champs qualifier
2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Women

Rotterdam, Netherlands, August 22, 2017. The Netherlands, Bulgaria and Belgium started on a high note their quest for one of the two tickets at stake this week in Rotterdam to qualify for next year’s FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship. The hosts easily routed Greece in three sets as Bulgaria beat Slovenia 3-1 and Belgium edged the Czech Republic at the tiebreak. The winners and runners-up from this single round robin tournament will book their trip to Japan – with the Land of the Rising Sun set to host the 2018 edition of the world’s premier Volleyball competition.

Slovenia vs. Bulgaria 1-3 (18-25, 19-25, 25-20, 22-25)

Bulgaria opened the programme of the tournament in Rotterdam by rallying to a 3-1 victory over Slovenia.

Elitsa Vasileva, captain of Team Bulgaria: “In 2014 we played at the World Championship in Italy, and we did so for the first time since 2002. It is very important that we earn a ticket for the World Championship in 2018 this week, especially since our team is relatively old, and this might be the last chance to compete on that stage for this generation.”

Ivan Dimitrov, Bulgaria coach: “I am not really satisfied with today’s match. Okay, we earned three points, but the loss of the third set might affect us later in the competition. In my opinion, we made too many mistakes and we have to play better in the next matches.”

Eva Mori, captain of Team Slovenia: “Today we started too nervous, a bit afraid even. The same thing happened to us in the first match of the second round of qualifications in May, against Germany. We have to learn how to start stronger to tournaments like this. However, in the third and fourth sets we played our game again. Hopefully we can continue this way in the next matches as well.”

Alessandro Chiappini, Slovenia coach: “Our start was not the best, but once the match progressed, we started to play with more confidence. All our players are younger than 23 years of age, and we are gaining experience for the Women’s U23 World Championship in our own country, which will take place in September. We have much trust in this group.”

Belgium vs. Czech Republic 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 13-25, 15-11)

Belgium’s Yellow Tigers had to fight for five sets before edging the Czech Republic at the tiebreak.

Charlotte Leys, captain of Team Belgium: “We started this tournament very nervously, only our opposite Lise Van Hecke played a steady match. Our goal this week is to earn a ticket to the World Championship, so the stakes are high. We kept fighting during this match, and that will help us in tomorrow’s match against The Netherlands.”

Gert Vande Broek, Belgium coach: “This was a typical stressful match for us. We knew we had to win this match if we want to have a chance to qualify for the World Championship. Our focus this season is completely on qualifying for Japan 2018 and on the European Championship. Now that we have won the opening match, we can play freely tomorrow against the home favourites of The Netherlands.”

Aneta Havlickova, captain of Team Czech Republic: “I think we played a good game today, but maybe Belgium had a little bit more luck on their side. We know it is hard for a European team to qualify for the World Championship, but we will try anything to make it happen. There’s always a chance.”

Zdenek Pommer, Czech Republic coach: “We fought hard and I can be satisfied with the level my team showed today. We started badly in the fifth set, and that’s why we lost the match unfortunately.”

The Netherlands vs. Greece 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-18)

The hosts from the Netherlands delighted the home crowd with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Greece to complete the programme of Day 1.

Maret Balkestein-Grothues, captain of The Netherlands: “We did what we had to do today. We served great, so the Greek passers were under pressure for the entire match. Everybody was on the court, and that was important. Tomorrow we will have to move on against our neighbours from Belgium. This will be a completely different match.”

Jamie Morrison, coach of The Netherlands: “Our team played well today. Setter Femke Stoltenborg did a great job in replacing Laura Dijkema, who has a small injury. All our substitutes were ready to play and showed aggressiveness. With Lonneke Slöetjes back in the team, and hopefully Laura Dijkema at the end of the week as well, we are back at 100% strength.”

Aikaterina Giota, captain of Team Greece: “This match was so hard, because The Netherlands are a great team. We were trying to be competitive as much as we could, but we did not play as we can. Hopefully we can show our true face this week and start playing like we did in the previous qualification tournament.”

Ioannis Orfanos, assistant coach of Greece: “I am disappointed because we played a very bad match. We were not ready to play today, and Holland certainly was. We did not play enough matches this summer to be ready to compete at this level. Hopefully we will do better tomorrow against Slovenia.”

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News nr. 5 of 22
23/08/2017 22:28:00
The Netherlands rout Belgium to set sights on ticket to 2018 World Champs
22/06/2017 11:49:00
Oranjes to enjoy home-court advantage in third-round women’s World Champs qualifier

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