Trieste, Italy, September 28, 2014 – Brazil defeated Serbia 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23) in the last match of Round 1, Pool B of the 2014 Women’s Volleyball World Championship at a sold-out PalaTrieste on Sunday.
- With 14 points Brazil have won all the five matches of Round 1 (3-2 against Turkey).
- Serbia rank second in Pool B with 11 points. They have won the first four matches of Round 1 (3-2 against Bulgaria).
- In the past Brazil and Serbia met in the semifinal of the 2006 World Championship, their only meeting in the competition before Sunday. Brazil won the match 3-1 as well.
- Brazil remain unbeaten in their meetings with Serbia at major tournaments. They beat Serbia at the 2012 and 2013 World Grand Prix, the 2007 and 2011 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
- Brazil have lost only two of their last 28 matches at World Championships. Both were finals against Russia (in 2006 and 2010).
- Best scorer was Serbia’s 17-year old left-handed Tijana Boskovic with 24 points, followed in her team by Brankica Mihajlovic with 15. Strongest on the Brazilian side were Thaisa and Jaqueline with 16 points each; among them Jaque had 7 block kills.
Serbia raced to a lead 6-1 in the first set with Tijana Boskovic and Brankica Mihajlovic shooting fiercely through Brazil’s blocks. Brazil chased them with classy determination and Jaqueline Pereira equalized at 8-8. Fabiana Claudino built an advantage at 10-9 with a spike kill and an ace. The advantage grew to 14-11. It was the Serbs chasing now and successfully defying the Brazilian drums that were transforming PalaTrieste into volleyball’s very own Maracana. Brankica achieved parity at 18-all and earned the roar of the Serbian supporters. It was a tight game then, with the first set point scored by Thaisa Menezes. However, the golden moment continued for Brankica, who first saved an impossible ball with a kick and seconds later sealed the 26-24 victory for Serbia. She scored 10 points in this set.
It was high-strung drama in the second set again, with the 6,700 spectators cheering out of their lungs at every point. The first technical time-out saw Serbia leading 8-6, only to lose four consecutive points to Brazil right after. It was Brazil on the lead now, until a block kill by Milena Rasic brought Serbia back to parity at 15-all. At 18-17 for Brazil, Serbia coach Zoran Terzic got a yellow card for protesting against a decision. It was a turning point. Brazil rushed to a 22-18 advantage and took the set 25-21.
Three consecutive spike kills and a block kill from 17-year old Tijana Boskovic raced Serbia to a 4-0 lead in the third set. Then the score swung back and forth around a substantial parity until Brazil signed seven consecutive points, reaching a 14-7 lead. Serbia seemed to have taken a mental break and Jaque seized the moment with two tremendous block kills that left the opponents struggling. The rest was an easy stroll for Brazil in spite of the spirited Tijana, who in this set alone signed 12 tallies. The set ball for Brazil was achieved by Thaisa, who also closed the set at 25-19.
In the fourth set Boskovic stood out again, stimulating Brazil’s defense to the utmost. The point-by-point exchange left the spectators gasping for breath. Then Thaisa led Brazil to 10-8. The South Americans kept a two- to three-point advantage until Sheilla Castro widened it to 16-12. The gap remained unchanged up to 21-17, when Serbia’s block kills chartered a 21-19 score. A dump from Natasa Krsmanovic and a torpedo spike from Jelena Nikolic brought Serbia back to parity 21-all. But Serbia could not outplay world No.1 Brazil that took the set and the match 25-23.