London 2012

Press release

Kim unstoppable in triumph of Korea over Serbia

Korea outblocked Serbia 13-6 in their four-set victory

London, Great Britain, July 30, 2012 – Yeon-Koung Kim erupted for 34 points and Song-Yi Han and Hee-Jin Kim chipped in with 12 and 11 respectively leading Korea to a 3-1 (25-12, 25-16, 16-25, 25-21) victory over Serbia in Pool B of the women’s volleyball tournament in London Olympic Games on Monday.

Kim, who had scored 29 in a losing effort against USA last Saturday, registered five blocks and one ace to complete her remarkable performance. She was 28-for-42 in her spike attempts for a 59.5 percentage of effectiveness.

Sanja Starovic led Serbia with 16 points followed by Milena Rasic and Ivana Djerisilo with 11 and 10 respectively.

The winners held a 13-6 advantage in blocking while Serbia finished 5-2 ahead in the aces department. Korea evened their win-loss record at 1-1 while Serbia dropped to 0-2.

Both sides were desperate to win after losing their first matches on Saturday. In the first set Korea took total control, with their captain and setter Kim Sa-Nee intelligently controlling play. The side's key spiker, Kim Yeon-Koung, benefited the most, with Kim Hee-Jin also scoring heavily. Serbia's Milena Rasic landed some spikes, but it was easy for Korea, who took the set 25-12.

The second set followed the same pattern, with Korea far too strong and Kim Yeon-Koung dominant. Han Song-Yi and Yang Hyo-Jin  also scored heavily. Rasic and Djersilo spiked well at times, but the gulf in class was clear throughout. Korea, making almost no errors, stayed well ahead all set and won 25-16.

Serbia did much better in the third set, leading narrowly through the first half. Sanja Starovic, Jelena Blagojevic, Stefana Veljkovic and Djerisilo raised their game as they took a 15-11 lead. A calm Korea, organised by Kim Sa-Nee, stayed in touch, but the newly confident Serbs ran away with the set, 25-16.

The fourth set was very close, as the two teams traded points through the same key players: Starovic and Rasic were important for Serbia, and Han made several excellent blocks for Korea. But as the set wore on, the superiority of Kim Yeon-Koung was the clear difference. As she took her extraordinary point tally for this match to 34 as the set ended 25-21.

Korea looked strong throughout and will need to keep their good form to compete with Brazil in the third round of preliminary matches on Wednesday. Serbia have suffered two defeats and play Turkey on the same day.

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