Serbia records their best Grand Prix start with Poland defeat
Wuhan, China, August 16, 2013 – Serbia continued their chances for a FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals position, clinching a 3-1 (25-14, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21) victory over Poland in its first pool N match, in week three of the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix.
The win marked the continuation of Serbia’s winning form this season, securing their sixth win out of their first seven World Grand Prix matches - their best start ever in the competition.
While Serbia is still in the running for a place in the Finals in Sapporo, Japan, the matches this weekend will be Poland’s last in this year’s campaign as a place in the finals is definitely out of reach.
Poland have won only one of their first six World Grand Prix matches, their worst World Grand Prix campaign ever. In 2006 and 2008, Poland lost the first eight preliminary round matches before winning their last. Poland's next two matches this weekend, against China and Argentina will be their last of the 2013 World Grand Prix.
Serbia's Mihajlovic Brankica was her team's top scorer with 20 points, while Poland's captain Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata worked hard to keep her team in the game with 22 points.
In the first set on Friday, Poland got off to a good start, leading the way at 8-6 before the first technical timeout. But thereafter, Poland could not match the power and efficiency of Serbia’s Jovana Brakocevic and Brizitka Molnar, whose excellent attacking an blocking skills widened the gap considerably between the two teams until Serbia won the first set 25-14.
In the second set, Serbia and Poland fought each other point-for-point and were at one point tied in their scores at 10-10. Back on the court, Serbia forged ahead taking the score to 16-14 at the second technical timeout. In the end, Brizitka Molnar of Serbia sealed the deal with an ace that helped her side finish the set at 25-20.
Poland changed their strategy in the third set, allowing them to gain a one point lead (5-4) over Serbia. Working well to block Molnar’s attack, the Polish side entered the first technical timeout at 8-7. It was after the second technical timeout that Poland came into their own, ending the third set in their favour at 25-22.
The Polish side opened the fourth and final set of the match well as Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata overpowered the opposition with her strong serves and spikes. But in the end Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlovic sealed the deal for Serbia with her strong attacks, which helped her side win 25-21.
2013 World Grand Prix Tournament page