Belgium off to Varna with tie-breaker edge over Netherlands


The Belgian team celebrates qualification to the finals

Antwerp, Belgium, July 3, 2015 – Belgium booked their ticket to this year’s Group 2 finals in the FIVB Volleyball World League and may start packing for Varna even before their last Pool E game this weekend.  Despite Kay Van Dijk’s fantastic performance resulting in 30 points for the Netherlands, the Belgians outplayed their neighbours in a nail-biting five setter shaping up a final score of 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 33-31, 16-14).  Sam Deroo with 18 points and Pieter Coolman with 17 were the winning side’s best scorers.

Each of the first two sets lasted 30 minutes, with the Netherlands taking the first one by 25-20 and Belgium tying the match with 25-20.  As the two teams were in a direct duel for only one remaining spot in the finals in Bulgaria, they had to fight to their last breaths.  Set three was resolved by a minimal advantage of 25-23 in favour of the Dutch, but the mercury continued to rise even higher.  The fourth set lasted 44 minutes and after 64 rallies of a fierce battle, the home side came out on top with a 33-31 win.  The tie-breaker could send Belgium on to the finals or keep the Netherlands in contention for at least one more match between these two neighbours.  The fifth set also went into over-time before the crowd in Antwerp erupted at the final score of 16-14 and 3-2 Belgium’s way.

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