The Dutch volleyball players failed to beat world champions Serbia on Sunday. The team of national coach Avital Selinger fought back from a 2-0 deficit and was two points away from victory, but still lost in five sets in Ankara: 25-27, 16-25, 25-17, 25-22 and 13-15.
Although the Netherlands lost the first three matches in the Nations League, the volleyball players started the duel with superpower Serbia. Selinger’s team even got a set point in the first set, but did not cash it in and then saw the reigning world champion take a 0-2 lead.
The Netherlands, which traveled to Turkey with a young and inexperienced team, seemed to be heading for another defeat, but the European champion of 1995 got up beautifully and won the third and fourth set, after which a fifth and deciding game set for the win.
In it, the Orange took a 13-11 lead, which made it seem that the Netherlands was going to win for the first time in the Nations League. However, the volleyball players lost four points in a row and thus suffered their fourth defeat in the prestigious national competition.
The volleyball players, who previously lost to China (1-3), Bulgaria (2-3) and Italy (0-3), are fourteenth in the Nations League, which consists of sixteen teams, with two points from four games. The Netherlands owes those two points to the five-setters against Bulgaria and Serbia.
The Netherlands will play four times in the Nations League next week. Those matches are played in Brazil. After that, four more games will follow in Canada. The Nations League is a preparation for the volleyball players for the World Cup, which will be held from September 23 to October 15 in the Netherlands and Poland.