Hosts the Netherlands sent their fans back home from the opening day of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship with smiles on their faces after the Volleybaldames swept Kenya at the GelreDome, in Arnhem, on Friday.
The Netherlands debut with emphatic victory
Playing at home, the Europeans produce a straight-set win over Kenya in Pool A
Gepubliceerd 07:50, 23 sep. 2022
The Dutch overcame slow starts in the first two sets to take control of the match and win 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-11) in front of their home fans and start their Pool A campaign on the right foot.
The hosts were dominant in their opening match, overcoming the Tokyo Olympians in every statistical category – the Europeans led in kills (45 to 25), blocks (13 to seven), aces (three to zero) and opponent errors (14 to seven).
In a match in which head coach Avital Selinger sent 12 of his 14 players to the court, captain Anne Buijs was the most productive Dutch player. The 30-year-old outside hitter and team captain led all scorers with 15 points, tallying 12 kills, two blocks and one ace.
“I want to thank everybody for coming here for our first match,” Buijs said to the fans after the match. “We were a little bit nervous at the beginning, but once we found our rhythm, we really got going. It’s a long tournament and we have big goals, so it was good to be out here and feel the atmosphere, it really inspired us. We wanted to play good volleyball, represent the people in the stands and entertain them. Today was the first step and we’re really happy about it. We couldn’t have started any better.”
Nika Daalderop and Celeste Plak also reached double digits in scoring with the 23-year-old outside hitter producing 14 points (ten kills, two blocks, two aces) and the 26-year-old opposite adding another 11, all in kills. Middle blockers Juliet Lohuis and Eline Timmerman had four and three blocks, respectively.
The Netherlands will face another African opponent in their second match in Arnhem as the Europeans will play against Cameroon on Sunday, at 16.00 local time (14.00 GMT). The Kenyans will try to get their first victory in the tournament on the same day, at 13.00 local time (11.00 GMT), against Belgium.
The other four Pool A teams will be on the court for the first time on Saturday, with Belgium and Puerto Rico facing each other at 14.00 local time (12.00 GMT) and Italy and Cameroon meeting one hour later. The four best-ranked teams in each of the four pools will advance to the second phase of the World Championship.
Saturday’s schedule will feature six matches, starting with the duel between Türkiye and Thailand at 13.00 local time (11.00 GMT) and ending with the encounter that will reunite Brazil and the Czech Republic at 20.30 local time (18.30 GMT).