World Grand Prix preview – The Netherlands


The Netherlands were promoted to FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 1 after maintaining a perfect win-record in last year's Group 2 competition

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 18, 2016 - The FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix continues in 2016 with 12 of the best teams in the world vying for top spot in Group 1 of the premier annual women’s tournament.

As the new edition of the World Grand Prix approaches, will be putting each team in the spotlight as it strives to reach the Group 1 Finals in Bangkok, Thailand from July 6 to 10.

The Netherlands – Stepping up from Group 2

The Netherlands capped their 2015 season by preserving a perfect win-record from the start of the World Grand Prix Preliminary Round to the end of the Group 2 Final Four that secured their promotion to Group 1 this year.

The Netherlands completed a sweep of Group 2 in the World Grand Prix

The Netherlands won all six of their pool matches; they finished atop Group 2 with a victory over Finals hosts Poland 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-16) in Lublin.

The Dutch team will step into the Group 1 spotlight in the 2016 edition of the competition and make another run for a World Grand Prix title victory after their last triumph in 2007.

The team has had a major revamp, with new players joining the squad and Giovanni Guidetti appointed as coach. The Italian coach, who also coaches Turkish club Vakifbank Istanbul, joined the Dutch team after a period with the German women's team.

The players’ enthusiasm and Guidetti’s coaching magic helped the Dutch seize promotion in the World Grand Prix last year, and they continued their good run finishing runners-up at the European Championship.

They missed out on Olympic qualification after losing to Russia 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20) in the final of the European Olympic Qualification Tournament in January. They will get another chance to get that Olympic qualification ticket, however, at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan in May.

Player to watch – Anne Buijs

Since their 2007 triumph, the Netherlands have lacked a court general like former MVP Manon Flier, who would come up with big points and act as a leader in crucial situations. But with the new breed of Dutch players, the Netherlands are certainly back on track in the World Grand Prix.

Anne Buijs stood out as she became the team’s top scorer with 100 points in last year's edition of the competition. Buijs was a powerful offensive weapon for the Dutch side, which also drew solid performances from Lonneke Sloetjes, Celeste Plak and Robin de Kruijf.

The 25-year-old native of Oostzaan has been playing volleyball since 1997 and became active in the national team in 2008. The 1.88m-tall outside spiker also plays for Guidetti at Vakifbank Istanbul, after playing with clubs in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Azerbaijan.


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