Serbia sweep Kazakhstan out of the World Championship


Brankica Mihajlovic was the top scorer on the court with 12 points against Kazakhstan

Verona, Italy, October 2, 2014 – Serbia saw Kazakhstan off in three sets (25-13, 25-15, 25-20) and 63 minutes in the second round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship at PalaOlimpia on Thursday.  

With this defeat, and after they lost against Brazil on Wednesday, Kazakhstan have now missed their chance to make it to the final round in Milan. Even if they won both upcoming matches in the second round, they would not be able to reach the top teams in Pool F, as Brazil, USA and Russia have already 12, 11 and 9 points respectively.

Key points:

•Serbia have won all the three meetings they played against Kazakhstan at major tournaments, with the European side previously beating the Asian 3-1 at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and 3-0 at the 2011 World Grand Prix
•They have won six matches of the total seven they played at the tournament
•Kazakhstan have played six matches against CEV nations. They have never defeated a European side at a World Championship
•The last nine matches played by Kazakhstan have been decided in straight sets, of which they lost seven
•The Kazakhstan squad became the country’s greatest sporting success as the first team to reach the second round of a World Championship

Brankica Mihajlovic was the best scorer on court with 12 points, followed by Stefana Veljkovic and Kazakhstan’s Radmila Beresneva with 10.

Serbia dominated the first set since the start, with a well-organised defense and taking advantage of Kazakhstan errors, to lead by four points at the first technical time out. The Asian side seemed unable to coordinate their attack effectively and to narrow a quickly widening gap. Kazakhstan's coach Oleksandr Gutor called a time out at 18-10 to try to save the situation, but the Serbian team continued to lead. As attack and serve errors increased on Kazakhstan’s side, the Europeans easily reached the first set point 24-12. A serve error by Sana Anarkulova gave the set to the Serbian with a score of 25-13.

The second set started more balanced, as Kazakhstan reacted guided by captain Korinna Ishimtseva and better adapted their game to the opponents. Serve errors by 17-year-old sensation Tijana Boscovic, Milena Rasic and Mihajlovic gave three points to Kazakhstan. The Asian team kept scoring without effort, relying on Serbia’s unforced errors and an unsuccessful kick by Bojana Zivkovic’. But Serbia played stronger and effective attacks by Mihajlovic and an ace by Rasic gave Serbia the set 25-15.

A more spirited Kazakhstan regrouped at the beginning of the third set and reached the first technical timeout leading 8-4. But a series of errors in defense and Serbia’s effective blocks allowed the Europeans to level the score and be back in the lead at the second technical timeout. Beresneva created problems to Serbia’s defense, but they did not lose their focus and closed the set and the match 25-20.

Serbia will play USA at PalaOlimpia on Saturday, while Kazakhstan will face Bulgaria at PalaPanini in Modena.


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