Netherlands' rising star Nika Daalderop in the middle of her team-mates
Montreux, Switzerland, June 8, 2017 - It has been a sobering opening two matches at the 2017 Montreux Volley Masters for the Netherlands, with the Oranje having fallen twice in tie-breaks to Argentina and 2016 winners China, leaving their hopes of progression in the balance. But one youngster in the Dutch ranks determined to remain positive is young wing spiker Nika Daalderop, who revealed that she hopes to channel her previous experience in Beach Volleyball onto the indoor court to help her country in Montreux and beyond.
Speaking in a post-match interview after their tie-break defeat to China, Daalderop was eager to speak of her previous experience in Beach Volleyball, and how aspects of that sector of the game has helped improve her personal style of play on the indoor court.
“I think that Beach Volleyball is a really mental game, and that’s the aspect you can really take into indoor volleyball”, Daalderop explained.
“Maybe it is more the tactical side of things in Beach Volley that can help when playing indoors”.
Daalderop was also quick to identify where the ‘Oranje’ can improve, admitting that the young Netherlands side on show at Montreux this year under coach Jamie Morrison somewhat orchestrated their own downfall against the Chinese with their mistakes, perhaps owed to their collective inexperience.
“I think we kept fighting throughout the game”, she said. “But, in the second and third set I think we made too many errors, so we could have done better.”
The 19-year-old also explained how the experience of facing the reigning Olympic champions on court will be beneficial for her and for her other young teammates going into the future.
“It’s a big challenge of course. t’s always nice to play against them, and you can really learn a lot from these matches.”
Courtesy of forcing a tie-break in their opening two matches, the Dutch are still in with a chance at qualifying for the semi-finals, albeit their prospects are slim. They must defeat Switzerland in the final game and hope the Argentines slip-up twice in order to progress. Whether or not the Oranje qualify for the semi-finals, Daalderop was keen to take the positives from the match, with the hope that the Dutch can wrap-up their Pool A campaign on a high against the Swiss.
“We kept fighting out there, and really stuck together and communicated a lot. So, I hope the next game will be a good one for us and that we can wrap up the pool with a win”.
The beneficial aspect of featuring at the Montreux Masters at such a young age is the early experience it provides for youngsters in facing off against some of the world’s strongest sides. To have just come up short this year at such a young age, if she is able to keep on improving, Nika Daalderop may be one Oranje youngster with a very bright future indeed within the game.