Wat deed Oranje in Londen?
Opvallend stil was het over de door Oranje gespeelde oefenwedstrijden tegen Groot Brittannië op Earls Court in de Olympic Hall in Londen. De Nevobo zweeg in alle talen over de prestaties van de Selinger selectie. Waar normaal iedere gelegenheid wordt aangegrepen om over Oranje te berichten, ongeacht welke Oranje vertegenwoordigers, was het nu opvallend stil. Ja, Oranje ging Londen verkennen, meer niet.
Dat leek wel een ontdekkingsreis zonder einde, want wat er verder gebeurde mochten we nooit lezen. Waarom niet? Ik weet het niet, want de Engelse commentaren zijn toch positief over onze landgenotes. Daar had gerust over bericht mogen worden. Onderstaand de onvertaalde verslagen van de site van de Britse damesploeg. Voor de volledigheid opdat u helemaal bijblijft en niet plotseling door welk nieuws dan ook ingehaald wordt op de “Road to London”.
GB 0 – 3 Netherlands (16-25, 14-25, 18-25)
The Dutch side provided a contrast to the Japanese opposition with most players over 6 feet tall and all of them very powerful. GB had two hours between the Japan and Netherlands matches to prepare for another big challenge.
The first set began with early involvement for both middle players Michel and Carter delivering off great sets from Wicks; the GB passing unit of Taylor, Beattie and Bertelli settled early and once again showing they can deal with high level international service. GB were looking to play with speed against the big Dutch team and find holes in the block of their opponents.
However it was the Netherlands who led 8-5 at the first technical with 3 powerful cross court shots from Grothues, the Dutch left handed passer hitter. GB came out fighting after the technical and the passers continued to allow Wicks to run the offence and quick scores from Beattie and Reid reduced the deficit to two points.
The Netherlands led 16-14 at the second technical. The Dutch captain Flier and Visser scored twice each towards the end of the set to take the first 25-16.
Set two began with the Netherlands on the front foot and the early lead of 8-5 in favour of the Dutch was only increased as the set continued. GB middles Carter and Michel scored with some superb slide attacks and the GB passers were quality throughout. The Dutch are not 12th in the world for no reason and their big powerful players continued to score too easily in this set winning it 25-14.
Set three was always going to be tough with the GB players both mentally and physically fatigued after the earlier match against Japan. Coach Cooper brought in some new faces and it was Newton who scored twice early on for the home team. GB were once again showing their fighting spirit and the speed of their attacks caused the Dutch problems. GB traded with Holland who led 8-7 at the first technical. The mid section allowed the Dutch to pull away from GB with some good blocking but Taylor and Michel persevered and continued to score points. Holland led 16-13 at the second technical. Although the spirit was still extremely good in the GB camp the fatigue was evident in body and mind with the Netherlands taking the set 25-18 and the match 3-0.
GB 0 – 3 Netherlands (15-25, 19-25, 19-25)
The GB squad was looking forward to another challenging high level match against the hard hitting Dutch opponents and had once again two hours to recover following their encounter with Japan, to prepare for another grueling encounter of volleyball.
GB began set one with excellent intentions of taking sets against this opposition, however kills from Blom and Wensink early on showed they too were up for this match. GB made several serving errors allowing the opposition to lead 8-4 at the first technical. The Dutch gained momentum from this point; Flier with her testing jump float serve and Wensink firing in offence, showed why they are classed as two of the best players on the world stage. The Netherlands took the first set 25-15.
Set two began on a similar note with the Dutch servers applying immense pressure making it difficult for the GB passing unit. The teams traded early on but after the first technical of 8-6 to the Netherlands they once again pushed ahead through a combination of tough serving and service errors from GB. Carter continued to score for GB but the away side continued to side out consistently and went on to win the second set 25-19.
The third set began with the GB team on top and the introduction of new, fresh players helped raise the spirits. Beattie and O’Connor both scored twice and GB recorded two kill blocks to lead 8-6 at the first technical time out. The mid section also proved to be a close affair and both teams upped their serving pressure allowing the block defense to do their jobs with Bertelli outstanding in defense and Reid gaining two more kill blocks. GB continued to be aggressive and with the score at 17-17, Flier and Huurman opened up a two point lead for the Dutch. Despite GB’s superb effort in this set it was evident the players had given all that was left in the tank after playing 4 games in 2 days. The Netherlands went on to win the set and match 3-0.
The GB team had once again shown that they can compete with these big teams and the contrasting styles of the Japanese and Dutch. This series of matches has been invaluable for the preparation for the Olympics 2012.