Robin de Krujif hopes young Dutch team takes notes in FIVB World Grand Prix for Olympic stint
Robin De Krujif led Netherlands over China to keep their young team in contention for a slot in the FIVB World Grand Prix semis. Meilin Lozada

BANGKOK, Thailand – Netherlands stalwart Robin de Krujif considers FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Grand Prix a good gauge for the team before they see action in the Rio Olympics.

The Dutch had a tough start in the tournament after losing to defending champion USA, 21-25, 17-25, 23-25, in the opening day but bounced back against China, 23-25, 25-14, 19-25, 25-20, 15-8.

The Netherlands will again face China and other world heavyweights in the Olympics next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“It’s good for us to play games like this to play against China, USA, Brazil maybe, teams like that to get to know them better because we didn’t play that much against them,” said the European middle blocker on Wednesday at the Huamark Indoor Stadium.

“I think we’re still improving and I know that China is gonna be with a different team there in the Olympics, but at the end it’s gonna be the same plays,” she added.

The 21-year-old De Krujif, however, hopes that their young team will get better, both physically and psychologically, in the short time span between the FIVB tournament and the Olympics.

“Compared to yesterday (against USA) we’re still improving,” she said. “Just the choices we make in some situations when to take risks and when not to. We’re still a young team and that’s what we show sometimes.”

Meanwhile, Netherlands will have to wait for the outcome of the match between USA and China on Friday to determine its ranking in the group stage. If USA wins the match, the Europeans and the Americans will advance to the knockout crossover semifinals. But if China wins, the Asians will join USA in the next round.

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