Russia have defeated Serbia in straight sets both times they met at the World Championship
Verona, Italy, October 5, 2014 – Two-time defending champions Russia swept Serbia in straight sets (28-26, 25-18, 25-18) to qualify for the finals in Milan in the second round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 at PalaOlimpia on Sunday.
Russia, who have won six and lost three at the World Championship, took the third and last available spot to reach the finals from Pool F with 13 points.
Serbia also won six and lost three, but they only secured 10 points and are now out of the competition.
•Russia have defeated Serbia both times they played at the World Championship. The first time was in 2010, when they won 3-0. Russia also beat Serbia in straight sets at the European Championship in 2013
•Before this win, Russia lost three of their previous four matches. The last time they were winless three times in a four match span was in 1982-86 as Soviet Union
•With this win, Russia interrupted their streak of dropping a set in each of the previous five matches. It was their longest streak World Championship history
•Serbia lost in straight sets twice at this Championship. The first time was against USA on Saturday
Tijana Boskovic was confirmed as Serbia's top scorer with 17 points, the same as Russia’s Tatiana Kosheleva. Russia's leading scorer was Nataliya Goncharova, who claimed 19 points.
A wide spike by Stefana Velikovic started the first set, but Russia scored a few points from Goncharova and Kosheleva attacks, reaching the first technical time out with a three-point lead. Irina Fetisova and Goncharova blocked Serbia's spikes effectively, allowing Russia to widen the margin at 13-9. Jelena Nikolic and Milena Rasic responded with powerful shots and blocks to tie the score at 16-16 at the second technical time out. Teenager Boskovic scored two points in a row giving Serbia a 20-18 lead, but then wasted the first set point due to an attack error, giving Russia the chance to tie at 24-24. The teams carried on scoring until an inaccurate spike by Brankica Mihailovic and a kill block by Fetisova secured the set for Russia with a result of 28-26.
Ekaterina Gamova opened the second set with two succesive points, but Serbia immediately levelled. Russia captain Ekaterina Kosianenko received a yellow card at 5-5 after discussing something with the referee. The set went on in a balanced fashion, until a brilliant spike by Goncharova gave Russia to a slight advantage at the first technical time out when they led by one. In an impressive comeback Serbia, who were trailing 11-7, managed to overtake Russia with Mihajlovic's block and spikes, reaching the score of 12-13. But in the second part of the set Serbia’s defense started to struggle, allowing Russia a safe lead. Boskovic spiked out to close the set at 25-18.
Serbia opened the third set with three errors in a row and Zoran Terzic called a time out. The team was able to refocus and level. Russia pushed ahead, but Nikolic aced twice in a row to make it 13-11. Russia maintained their grip on the game and kept leading upto 21-17, counting on Gamova’s kills. Coach Yury Marichev called a video challenge after a spike by Nikolic, and a positive response gave Russia the 23rd point. A kill block by Goncharova sealed the set at 25-17 and the victory.
Russia will play their first third round meeting on Wednesday at Mediolanum Forum in Milan, in a tie to be decided by the draw on Monday afternoon.