Dutch Merle Baasdam leads Hermes Oostende in her country to a great victory against Sliedrecht

©  VDB

Hermes Oostende got the sports hall of Sliedrecht, Dutch glory in women’s volleyball, quiet. After four super exciting sets, the green-yellows pulled the sheet.

The Dutch champion Sliedrecht Sport has played six official matches so far and has won them all: the Supercup and five match days in competition. Hermes Oostende has started the national competition less well. They lost two of their three matches and are currently in fifth place. But all that mattered on Wednesday night was the performance between the lines in this clash of the Challenge Cup, the third continental club competition.

Hermes Rekkenshop Oostende immediately took the initial set in their hands via 4-7 and 9-12. Baasdam and Neyt even sent Hermes to 15-23. The home team started a comeback but had to bow their head after 22-24 and a time-out: 22-25. The West Flemish team also closed the first gap (6-9 and 12-15) of set two. Sliedrecht answered (16-16 and 22-22), threatened (23-22) but then bowed his head to Zwaanswijk, Baasdam and Jacquemyn. The Dutch thought it was enough and dominated the third company (10-6 and 19-13). Hermes injected new tension (22-22) into the set but narrowly lost: 26-24. The clash of the Low Countries was also a thriller in the fourth match slide. After 13-18, a bloodcurdling end started at 21-22 with Hermes as the surprising but deserved winner via 24-26. Merle Baasdam was the Ostend top scorer with 26 points ahead of Loladina Zwaanswijk (18) and Paulien Neyt (14). Hermes Oostende surprisingly but deservedly triumphed with 1-3 in the Netherlands. The return of this 1/32nd final in Ostend will follow on Wednesday 3 November. The winner of the double confrontation will face Ladies Volley Limburg from Genk in the next round. (rpo)

22-25, 23-25, 26-24, 24-26.

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