Verona, Italy, September 27, 2014 – Russia beat a fired up Netherlands 3-1 (19-25, 25-13, 27-25, 25-16) at the FIVB Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 on Saturday.
Russia, who had already qualified for the second round of competition, have now twelve points after losing only one set in four matches.
The Netherlands, who had beaten Kazakhstan and Thailand in straight sets but lost 3-0 to the USA, remain at six points.
•Russia have now beaten the Netherlands in all their seven World Championship meetings. The Dutch team have only won three sets in these matches
•The Netherlands had only three victories in a total of 30 meetings with Russia at major tournaments, beating the opponents 3-1 at the 1995 European Championship, 3-2 at the 2007 World Grand Prix and 3-2 at the 2009 European Championship.
•Russia have won their last 17 World Championship clashes and have only dropped one set at the FIVB Women’s World Championship Italy 2014
•The Netherlands’s best World Championship result was seventh place in 1998
A fired up Netherlands started aggressively with a powerful spike by Judith Pietersen. The set proceeded balanced with mighty shots by Russia’s Ekaterina Gamova and young Celeste Plack on the Netherlands’ side.
An excellent shot by Robin De Kruijf built the lead for the North Europeans to 12-10, while a seemingly confused Russia helped the Netherlands to reach the second technical time out to 16-10, supported by a vocal orange crowd.
Errors in defense and attack started to creep on Russia’s side, allowing the Netherlands to maintain in control of the set to 18-12. Russia won a long rally where both teams defended generously, narrowing the gap to 18-16.
The Netherlands’ quick shots and attack angles seemed to surprise Russia, who was unable to react properly, until De Kruijf signed the point that closed the set 25-19.
Russia established their dominance in the second set, that the Netherlands started leading until a block by Tatiana Kosheleva levelled the score to 4-all.
The teams played a point-by-point drama but a more determined Russia and a spectacular block by Nataliya Goncharova built their lead to 12-7.
The Netherlands lost their grip on the game and Russia advanced to 16-8 to the second technical time out. Gamova, Kosheleva and Goncharova kept attacking and blocking effectively, while the Netherlands were unable to react.
An attack error by Buijs gave Russia the set 25-13.
The third set started balanced, but Pietersen spiked neatly and De Kruijf aced giving the Netherlands the lead 5-2. Kosheleva had to momentarily leave the court after a ball hit her face.
Pietersen secured precious points keeping the Netherlands in control to 16-12, but a reactive Russia led by and a powerful spike by Koshaleva tied the score at 18-18.
A point by point battle followed in a very tight end of the set, as the Netherlands wasted a set point that Russia turned around helped by Plak’s defense errors and aggressive Kosheleva sealed the set 27-25.
The Netherlands seemed determined to make it to the fifth set, but Russia did not let it happen, leading 8-4 at the first technical time out.
Kosheleva kept scoring and a spectacular spike by Natalia Malykh brought Russia to 15-8.
The Netherlands fought hard and Russia’s errors in defense slightly narrowed the gap to 18-13, but Russia were now unstoppable, De Kruijs spiked too long to give Russia the match 25-16.
Russia will play USA, while the Netherland will face Mexico on Sunday.