Tijana Boskovic was the top scorer of the match with 19 points for Serbia
Verona, Italy, October 1, 2014 – Serbia beat an inconsistent Netherlands in three sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-23) I the first match of the second round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship at PalaOlimpia on Wednesday.
•Serbia beat Netherlands the two times they met at the World Championship. Serbia as Yugoslavia defeated the Netherlands 3-1 in 1978
•Serbia only lost one match at the FIVB Women’s World Championship against Brazil 3-1 on Sunday
•The Netherlands have now lost three of their six matches at this championship. They lost the previous two against USA (3-0) and Russia (3-1)
•The Netherlands lost the last five matches against fellow CEV teams. The last time this happened was in 1962-1974, when they lost seven straight
•Six of the last seven World Championship matches played by the Netherlands ended in straight sets
Tijana Boskovic was the best scorer of the match with 18 points, followed by Celeste Plak with 16 points for the Netherlands team.
A kill block by Yvon Belien opened the first set, but Serbia took control of the game until Judith Pietersen aced to tie to 6-6. The Netherlands managed to take a slight advantage supported by Femke Stoltenborg and captain Robin De Kreuijf, while a series of powerful spikes by Plak allowed the team to lead to 18-13. After Serbia’s coach Zoran Terzic called a time out, Brankica Mihajlovic scored two points in a row and a kill block by Boskovic and Milena Rasic tied the score to 21-21. The first video challenge at PalaOlimpia came deep into the first set with Serbia correctly challenging that the ball landed in. That made it 23-22 to the Serbian team and it was Netherlands coach Gido Vermeulen that made the only other challenge of the match two plays later. With Serbia thinking they had won the set, the Dutch team challenged the call of ball out, but they were unsuccessful.
Serbia started the second set in a dominating fashion, leading to the first technical time out 8-6. The Netherlands had a series of defense errors, but were able to regroup to close the gap in the middle of the set with Plak’s spikes, an ace by Pietersen and two serving errors by Serbia and tied the score at 17-17. Another ace by Belien gave the Netherlands the lead to 22-18. Serbia scored six point in a row to turn the set around and earn the first set point 24-22. Plak spiked to 24-23, but her second attempt was not as successful as a kill block by Rasic closed the set at 25-23.
The Netherlands started more resolute in the third set, securing immediately a three-points lead and reaching the first technical time out 8-5. Mihajlovic and Rasic put pressure to the Netherlands defense, but attacks by Plak and blocks by captain De Kruijf maintained their team in control of the game, while Manon Flier's serves and shots were irresistible. It was a thrilling end of the match, with the Netherlands fighting in an attempt to win the set, but Boskovic spiked and closed the set 25-23.
Serbia will play Kazakhstan, while the Netherlands will face Brazil on Thursday.