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Netherlands squeak by Cuba in difficult three-setter

11/14/2010

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Dutch players celebrate at the end of the match for 11th place against Cuba

Tokyo, Japan, November14, 2010 - The Netherlands faced off against Cuba in a fight for the 11th place spot in the FIVB 2010 Women's Volleyball World Championship. In a very hard-fought match at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, it was the Dutch who emerged victorious in straight-sets, 3-0 (32-30, 25-23, 25-17).

Leading the Dutch in scoring on the day was Maret Grothues with 17, many of those points coming in clutch moments. Captain Manon Flier added 15 while Alice Blom and Caroline Wensik contributed 12 and 11 respectively.

Cuba was led by by Kenia Carcaces who posted 14 points in a losing effort. Rachel Sanchez and Yoana Palacios charted 12 and 10.

Cuba jumped out 9-5 early with Cleger helping her side with strong attacking and good defense at the net. The Netherlands countered with Flier driving a spike to close within one at 11-10. Cuba led the whole way as a Carcaces cross-court spike put Cuba up 24-20. But then the Dutch pulled off a miracle with four straight to tie, in total fighting off ten set points - four alone negated by Maret Grothues - before taking the period on a Ingrid Visser block 32-30.

To start the second Cuba grabbed a 10-5 lead thanks to strong attacking from Palacios and Carcaces, but the Dutch came back with a run of four and a Wensink block would knot it at 13-13. The two squads exchanged leads until more clutch play from Grothues and a pair of Francien Huurman points gave the Dutch set point. Again it was Visser who put it away 25-23 with a well placed spike.

The Dutch edged out to an 8-6 lead in the third on a Visser block where she appeared to hurt her hand on a strong spike by Yanelis Santos Allegne. She would recover well enough to drop a solid spike past Cuba's Carcaces a few points later. A clever tip at the net by Alice Blom put the Netherlands up four, and a Grothues ace made it 20-15. A Manon Flier tip gave her team match point, and she followed that up with another clever put away to take the set 25-17, as well as the match.
(FIVB)