Weakened Netherlands confirm third place with win over Mexico


Mexico struggled to contain top scorer Manon Flier

Verona, Italy, September 28, 2014 – The Netherlands confirmed third place in Pool C and advanced to the second round of the competition beating Mexico in straight sets (32-30, 25-17, 25-17) at PalaOlimpia on Sunday. 

Mexico played their last match at the FIVB Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 having places sixth in the pool.

Key points:

•The Netherlands have beaten Mexico for the first time at a World Championship. Mexico had won against them 3-0 in 1970 and 3-2 in 1978
•The Europeans have now equaled the record of achieving three victories in their first five World Championship matches as they did in the previous four occasions
•Five of their last World Championships matches ended in straight sets, with a total of four wins and one loss. The only exception was their 3-1 defeat against Russia on Saturday 
•Mexico have now lost all five matches in Pool C, only winning one set against USA on Tuesday. In 2006 they won none, in 2002 two sets
•They are now on a nine-match losing streak against European teams at the World Championship, and a 16-match losing streak at the World Championship. They last won in West Germany in 1982

Manon Flier was the best scorer for the Netherlands with 15 points, followed by Lonneke Sloetjes with 13. Mexico's best scorers were Lizbeth Sainz with 11 points and Claudia Rios with 10.

The last day of the first phase started in a balanced way, with a focused Mexico more effective in defense.

The Netherlands lined up Flier and Laura Dijkema instead of regulars Celeste Plak and captain Robin De Kruijf. 

A series of serve errors on the European side gave confidence to the opponents that took a five-point lead to 18-13. 

Sletjes blocked the Mexican attack twice and with her and Flier’s spikes the Netherlands tied the score at 22-22. 

The match came alive as either team lacked the consistency to close the set and traded points evenly to the first set point for Mexico. 

The North Americans wasted four opportunities, and the Europeans wasted three, until a powerful ace by Flier, top scorer in this phase of the match with 10 points, sealed the set 32-30. 

The Netherlands began the second set with better serves and scored an ace with Carlijn Jans. The Europeans looked increasingly confident while Mexico, who are winless in their last eight World Championship matches against CEV nations, lacked in accuracy giving the Netherlands a six-point lead to 13-7.

Sloetjes's attacks and errors on the Americans’ side allowed the opponents to maintain in control of the game. The Netherlands felt less the absence of Judith Pietersen and De Kruif that in the first set and Flier’s spike closed the set 25-17.

Mexico had recovered in the third set, acing with captain Andrea Rangel and attacking well with  wing spikers Sainz and Rios. 

With Plak’s attack the Netherlands tied the score to 8-8. After Dijkema received a yellow card, a long rally closed by Sloetjes’s powerful spike gave the Europeans a three-point advantage that increased to 16-13 to the second technical time out. 

Rangel spiked and Claudia Lizbeth Resendiz Lopez aced trying to narrow the gap, but her own error and an ace of Carlijn Jans ended the set 25-17 giving Netherlands the victory.

The World Championship has now officially ended for the young Mexican team who took no points in the competition.

The Netherlands will advance to the next round to play the second placed team from Pool B on Wednesday at PalaOlimpia.


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