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    Netherlands rallies past China in five-set thriller to nab first win in FIVB Women's World Grand Prix

    Jul 7, 2016

    BANGKOK, Thailand – Lonneke Sloetjes carried Netherlands past China, 23-25, 25-14, 19-25, 25-20, 15-8, to bounce back from a previous loss in the FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Grand Prix at Huamark Indoor Stadium on Thursday.

    Sloetjes unloaded 31 points, scattered from 25 spikes, five blocks and one service ace, for the Dutch, which bowed to defending champion USA in their opening match.

    Anne Bujis added 21 markers, Quinta Steenbergen contributed 14, and Robin de Krujif chipped in 12 for Netherlands, who evened its record 1-1 in Group B.

    “We adjusted on our game after we watched the tape because I know we still a had a lot to do better the next game. I think the game we lost was because of the simple things that we didn’t do right ourselves, and I think we did better today. That’s the important thing to do, to get better,” said De Krujif.

    Xiaoya Zhang kept China within striking distance, 4-6, in the fifth set. But Netherlands came up with a 5-0 blast to widen the gap, 11-4, before Sloetjes delivered the winning points for the Dutch.

    “I think we lost the two sets mainly because China was more stable in reception and we made risky moves. We wanted to drop the ball, we wanted to tip, but I think we were more confident (in the fifth set) that’s why we were able to pull through,” said De Krujif.

    Netherlands also broke a tight fourth set wide open after a 7-2 run to reach match point, 24-19, after an attack error by Yanhan Liu. Dutch skipper Maret Balkestein-Grothues then sent the match to a deciding set.

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    Xiangyu Gong had 21 points for China, while Xiatong Liu added 12 and Zhang and skipper Roqui Hui had 10 markers apiece.

    The Chinese dropped to the third place in Group B (0-1), while USA is on top (1-0).

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