The Dutch national team made the first step towards returning to the FIVB World League for the first time since 2010 having beaten the Dominican Republic twice in the first round of the qualifications play-offs. The first game was special for Wytze Kooistra, who played his 200th match in the Dutch ‘gang’.
Netherlands – Dominican Republic 3 – 0 (25:22, 25:22, 25:21)
Netherlands: N. Abdel-Aziz 8, J. Maan 15, R. Bontje 4, H. Krolis 9, J. Rauwerdink 10, W. Kooistra 11, G. Jorna (L) and B. Van Bemmelen 1
Dominican Rep.: E. Palomino 3, W. Hernandez 6, E. Contrera 13, E. Concepcion 4, A. Abreu 2, J. Caceres 16, E. Peguero (L) and P. Gracia 4, E. Lara
The first match was extremely aligned despite what the final score can suggest. The Oranje obtained advantages only in the final phase of the sets mainly due not to be able to stop a Dominican star Jose Caseres, who killed 14 spikes to 19 done gaining 74% efficiency. Wytze Kooistra scored 12 points in his jubilee match (89% in attack, 3 blocks).
Dominican Republic captain Jose Miguel Caseres top scored in the match with 16 points but it wasn’t enough as three Dutch players reached double figures led by Maan Jelte with 15 points.
Netherlands – Dominican Republic 3 – 2 (25-27, 25-21, 24-26, 30-28, 16-14)
Netherlands: N. Abdel-Aziz 3, J. Maan 19, R. Bontje 6, H. Krolis 24, J. Rauwerdink 9, W. Kooistra 3, G. Jorna (L) and B. Van Bemmelen 17, T. Ter Horst 9, N. Freriks
Dominican Rep.: R. Castro 1, W. Hernandez 13, E. Contreras 19, E. Concepcion, P. Garcia 10, , J. Caceres 16, E. Peguero (L) and E. Palomino 1, E. Lara , A. Abreu, H. Tapia
In the other match, Holland overcame the Dominican Republic 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 30-28, 16-14) on Saturday to record their second win in as many matches and days against the visitors to confirm their place in the second round of the World League 2013 qualification .
After a straight sets win against the Dominican Republic on Friday, the Netherlands only needed one set to win the first round encounter and despite a slight scare when the Dominican Republic won the first set, Edwin Benne’s team did what was necessary by winning the second set before winning the match.
Dutch coach Benne always said he wanted his side to win the second match despite only needing to win a set, and they duly obliged despite being pushed to 16-14 in the fifth. Humphrey Krolis, who was the sixth highest scorer in the first match with nine points, became the top scorer in the second with 24. Elvis Contreras was one of five Dominicans in double figures, leading the way with 19 points.
In the second round of qualification, the Netherlands will take on Portugal, who finished 16th in the 2012 edition of the World League, for a spot in next year’s edition.