Two additional qualified players not retained by Vermeulen are Anne Buijs and Femke Stoltenborg.
“Anne and Femke were both not fit as they got back to the Netherlands” adds the head coach. “Femke is struggling with a sprained ankle while Anne suffers some shin pain”.
The group is expected to travel to Turkey this coming April 26 after playing two friendly matches with Bulgaria, a side which is also included in the starting field of the Olympic qualifier taking place at “Baskent” sports hall.
These friendlies are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Almere and Barneveld respectively. “There we will test if the changes we have undergone in the past weeks are paying back” says Vermeulen, “and check our team work. I invite all Volleyball fans from the Netherlands to join these matches to cheer on our girls as they start their campaign to make it to the Olympics” he concludes.
The Netherlands will open their quest in Ankara on May 1 by playing Poland to follow with two more matches against Serbia and Russia. The first and second ranked of the group will advance to the semis and play there the top-ranked sides coming out of the other Pool comprising Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria and Croatia.
The list of 14 players so far retained by head coach Vermeulen includes:
Setters: Kim Staelens, Laura Dijkema
Liberos: Janneke van Tienen, Myrthe Schoot
Middle blockers: Caroline Wensink, Robin de Kruijf, Quinta Steenbergen, Nicole Koelhaas
Outside hitters: Debby Stam-Pilon, Maret Grothues, Lonneke Slöetjes, Angelique Vergeer
Opposites: Manon Flier (C), Judith Pietersen