Florence, Italy, September 17, 2018 – On Monday, Belgium’s Red Dragons claimed a compelling 3-0 victory (25-18, 25-13, 25-17) over the Dominican Republic as their blocking performance was just outstanding, with 14 stuffs in the end. Hendrik Tuerlinckx and Igor Oskar Grobelny, who usually do not feature in the starting six, scored 14 and 13 points respectively to set the tempo for the Belgians. The young outside hitter of Polish descent stood out with 73% perfect reception, as Tuerlinckx and Grobelny stepped in for Bram Van den Dries and Sam Deroo, respectively. Dominican opposite Henry Tapia, who played for two sets only, scored eight points for the losing side.
Grobelny set the pace for Belgium scoring three of the first nine points claimed by the Red Dragons in the opening set. As he was missing Van den Dries, Belgium’s top scorer in the tournament this far with 60 points, setter Matthias Valkiers delivered a very solid performance by involving all of his hitters. Despite several good attacks by Jose Miguel Caceres, who scored six times for the Dominicans in the end, the Red Dragons slowly but surely extended their lead to 18-11. Libero Lowie Stuer performed well too – as did Francois Lecat, who replaced Deroo in Belgium’s starting six. The Red Dragons eventually won the first set 25-18 with seven blocks to their name.
Dominican coach José Gutierrez Sanchez decided to stick with his policy to provide all players on the roster with an opportunity to take to the court at this tournament and as a result, he changed his whole starting six with the only exception being Henry Lopez. After a close start, Belgium ran away 16-9 thanks to their good blocking game and a few mistakes from their opponents. There were two remarkable aces by Tuerlinckx and a block-out by Pieter Coolman sealed the second-set win for the Belgians at 25-13, with another four blocks added to the tally of the Red Dragons.
The third set was just the continuation of that same trend; Belgium stormed to a 16-11 lead at the second technical timeout. Two blocks in a row by Simon Van de Voorde and Grobelny as well as more points scored by Tuerlinckx sealed a comprehensive 3-0 victory for the Red Dragons.