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VNL 2023: Van Garderen led the Netherlands to a straight sets win over European rivals Germany. First win for Italy!

4 min read

Believe it or not, Dutch bomber Nimir Abdel-Aziz was in an unusual quiet day today, and it was Marteen Van Garderen who led the Netherlands in their second victory in the Volleyball Nations League 2023 on the European Derby against Germany in Ottawa, Canada.
With a strong performance, they won in straight sets (25:20, 33:31, 25:21) in the opening match of the fourth day of Pool 1 in the Canadian capital at the TD Place to reach six points in the standings with two wins and one loss.
The winners, who had in superstar opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz their top scorer against the United States and Cuba scoring 24 and 22 points respectively, had only three points in first set and closed the game with a “regular” amount of 14 points (including 3 aces and one block), while top scorer Van Garderen was the top scorer of the match with 21 points including two aces and four blocks.
Germany, who have lost their first two matches in the competition, had two players reaching double digits: outside hitter Moritz Reichert, who scored 12 points including two blocks, and middle blocker Anton Brehme, who tallied 11 (eight attacks and three blocks).
One of the keys to the Dutch victory was the absolute better performance from the service line with eight aces to none from their rivals, but they were also better in blocking (12 to eight).

We knew it was going to be a fight because these are two teams that play at a very similar level and every time we play them it’s like that,” said Nimir after the game.
We didn’t always show our best volleyball, but we fought the entire time and I’m happy for the win and for the team. Winning the second set was big for us, it gave us a lot of confidence. I didn’t play very well today in the first two sets, I made some mistakes, and I’m glad some of our other players did a really good job today. To me, it doesn’t matter who scores the points as long as we win matches. It was a team victory and honestly, winning a match like this makes me happier than when I score a lot of points.”

Germany will be back on the court on Saturday, at 13:00 local time to face World Champions Italy, while The Netherlands will complete their match schedule in Ottawa on Sunday, at 11:00 local time against Argentina.

In the same Pool, and after two defeats in a row in their first two matches, world champions Italy managed to claim their first victory in the Volleyball Nations League 2023.
Following defeats to Argentina and the United States, they triumphed 3-1 (25:20, 25:19, 20:25, 25:18) over Cuba.
Two of the five world champions in Ottawa Mattia Bottolo and Yuri Romanò led the team’s attack and left the court with 17 points, with the first getting 15 points in attack, one ace and one block and the second with 15 points in attack too and two aces.
Cuba had three players reaching double digits: outside hitters Miguel Ángel López and Marlon Yant with 14 and 11 points respectively, and middle blocker Javier Concepcion with 10.
The efficiency of the Italian offense made the difference: 52 points from kills to Cuba’s 41, while the two teams were pretty similar in other elements, with the winners doing slightly better in aces (five to three) and opponent errors (30 to 29) and the rivals getting more blocking points (nine to eight).

“It’s a wonderful celebration for us,” said Bottolo at the end of the game.
“This was a key match for us and, after two tough losses, we needed this victory. We wanted to prove we can compete at this level. We all wanted to contribute today and I’m glad I got to help the team win. It was a great match for us and tomorrow we’ll have another one. After getting the first win, we just want to keep winning.”

Italy and Cuba will both conclude their schedules in Ottawa on Saturday, with the Europeans facing Germany at 13:00 local time, while Cuba will face Brazil at 16:30 local time.



June 09, 2023

Pool 1 – Week 1 – Ottawa 🇨🇦
• 20:00 (Local Time) | Argentina – Brazil 2-3 (25:19, 19:25, 25:23, 23:25, 13:15)

👉🏼 11:00 (Local Time) | The Netherlands – Germany 3-0 (25:20, 33:31, 25:21)

• 16:30 (Local Time) | Italy – Cuba 3-1 (25:20, 25:19, 20:25, 25:18)

Pool 2 – Week 1 – Nagoya 🇯🇵
• 13:10 (Local Time) | China – France 1-3 (20:25, 25:23, 16:25, 17:25)
• 16:10 (Local Time) | Poland – Bulgaria 3-2 (25:27, 25:19, 22:25, 25:22, 15:11)
• 19:40 (Local Time) | Japan – Serbia 3-1 (22:25, 25:21, 25:23, 25:20)


🏐| STANDINGS (updated on this day):
1. Poland 7
2. USA 6
3. Japan 6
4. The Netherlands 6
5. Brazil 5
6. Bulgaria 5
7. Argentina 4
8. Serbia 3
9. France 3
10. Slovenia 3
11. Italy 0
12. Canada 2
13. China 2
14. Cuba 1
15. Iran 1
16. Germany 0


June 10, 2023

Pool 1 – Week 1 – Ottawa 🇨🇦
• 20:00 (Local Time) | Canada – Argentina
• 13:00 (Local Time) | Germany – Italy
• 16:30 (Local Time) | Brazil – Cuba

Pool 2 – Week 1 – Nagoya 🇯🇵
• 12:40 (Local Time) | France – Slovenia
• 15:40 (Local Time) | Iran – China
• 19:10 (Local Time) | Japan – Bulgaria


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