USA storm past Dutch in opening match of World Grand Prix Finals


USA celebrate their victory over the Netherlands in their first clash of the World Grand Prix Finals in Bangkok on Friday.

Bangkok, Thailand, July 6, 2016 - USA had a great final six kick-off and are on course for their title defence, as they drubbed the Netherlands 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-23) in the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals at the Indoor Stadium Huamark on Wednesday.

Foluke Akinradewo scored a match-high 16 points for the USA, while Lonneke Sloetjes tallied 15 points for the Netherlands.

USA started off strong with a formidable starting line-up, which comprise of Alisha Glass, Jordan Larson-Burbach, Kelly Murphy and Akinradewo, while the Netherlands were led by the hard-hitting Sloetjes and Anne Bujis. After taking a commanding 12-8 lead, USA maintained their lead at 18-14. Sloetjes showed her scoring prowess to score three points in a row to cut down the USA lead to 18-17. The Netherlands managed to level the score at 19-all, but the USA played clutch and took the opening set 25-21.

The Netherlands came up with a stronger performance in the second set to lead 5-1, but they were not able to sustain their momentum as USA started to deliver the points, with Akinradewo’s quick spikes and their solid triple blocks. USA deadlocked at 16-all and their exceptional teamwork helped them score six straight points to snatch the lead 22-16. USA only allowed the Netherlands to score one point before Larson’s effective drop ended the set in their favour 25-17.

The Netherlands made a last ditch effort in the third set, as they came all out and challenged USA in each rally. USA held a slim lead at 24-22, but Sloetjes managed to save another point for the Netherlands, as her spike penetrated the tight USA defence. Akinradewo handed USA the final point on an attack to complete the sweep 25-23.

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