USA did not concede Serbia a single set in their first World Championship meeting
Verona, Italy, October 4, 2014 – Already qualified USA beat Serbia in straight sets (25-22, 25-20, 25-22) in the second round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship at PalaOlimpia on Saturday, keeping up their no-loss trend in the tournament.
Serbia can still qualify for the finals in Milan with a victory against Russia tomorrow in Verona, but this is now dependent on the result between Brazil and Russia later today.
•USA beat Serbia in their first meeting at a World Championship. They also won six of the nine matches they played at major competitions
•USA are the only team that have taken maximum points in this championship, winning all their matches 3-0 or 3-1
•USA’s best result at the previous 14 World Championship was a runners-up finish in 1967 and 2002
•Serbia have now lost two of the eight matches they played at this World Championship, the first one against Brazil
Tijana Boskovic was again the top scorer on the European side with 15 points, while Kelly Murphy was confirmed as USA's best asset with 14 points.
The first set started balanced, exchanging effective blocks and digs. Kelsey Robinson’s kill ended a long rally and USA lead 8-6 at the first technical time out. The Americans defended well to keep a two-points advantage to 15-13, blocking every attack attempt by Natasa Krsmanovic and Jelena Nikolic and counting on libero Kayla Banwarth’ digs. A powerful shot by Brankica Mihajlovich allowed Serbia to overtake USA 20-19, but they could not keep the advantage and Rachael Adams aced at 21-20. Kelly Murphy took advantage of Serbia’s hesitation in defense and aced to 23-20. The European side reacted scoring two points, but it was not enough as Adams blocked the opponents to reach 25-22.
Kimberly Hill scored the first two points of the second set with a block and a kill. Serbia responded with an ace by Mihajlovich, but a spike by Murphy gave USA the lead to reach again the first technical time out 8-6. Robinson had an excellent dig but a monster attack by Boskovic tied the score 14-14. The referee decided that Milena Rasic had served too long, but Serbia called for the video check which gave Serbia a point to lead to the second technical time out 16-15. The two teams battled it out trading points evenly, until Serbia lost the grip at 22-20. USA consistently advanced and Boskovic spiked out to give USA the second set 25-20.
Serbia regrouped and started the third set more determined, but USA kept dominating with Robinson’s successful attacks and once again led 8-6 at the first technical time out. Serbia made two errors in a row, but after a time out called by coach Zoran Terzic they were able to close the gap at 12-12. The Europeans led by one point to 18-17, but USA, led by a brilliant Alisha Glass, turned the result around with Hill spiking to 19-18. Serbia kept fighting and chasing the USA point by point to 22-21. USA coach Karch Kiraly called the first time out of the match to make sure the players would secure they set. Tetori Dixon did it with a final kill that closed the match 25-22.
Serbia will play Russia and USA will face Brazil at PalaOlimpia on Sunday.