The Netherlands will play in the semifinals after guarding the net well for a 3-1 victory over Russia
Montreux, Switzerland, May 28, 2015 – Two European powers, the Netherlands and Russia, clashed for a semifinal ticket of the Montreux Volley Masters 2015 at the Pierrier Sports Hall on Thursday. The Netherlands triumphed 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22).
The Netherlands played a faster and more dynamic game from the beginning of the match. Russia could not close on their block, which allowed the Dutch wings to beat the Russian middles in defence. Nevertheless, Russia set up a series of fierce plays at the net and from the backrow, with a fearless string of attacks stinging Dutch defenders.
The first half of the set was a point-by-point clash. The Netherlands led 16-15 at the first technical timeout and picked up the rhythm to gain advantage. The Dutch took the first set 25-20 as their faster game at the net forced the Russians to commit errors.
In the second set, a great service run from Daria Isaeva, and better blocking and more confidence brought the Russians back into the game for an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout. After the second technical timeout, two well-placed blocks from the Netherlands, a powerful hit from Lonneke Sloetjes and a serve missed by the Russians made it easy for the Dutch squad to level the score at 19-all. The Russians, however, were determined to take the second set and did at 25-23.
Two monster aces from Celeste Plank in the third set gave the Netherlands a good lead over the Russian side. The Dutch carefully studied their opponents by using precision serves and setting up an impenetrable block for a 25-17 third set takeover.
Even Irina Filishtinkaia’s substitution of Anna Matienko in the setting position did not change the Russian offence, as the Netherlands rapidly took control of the final set, leading all the way to 25-22.