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Serbia and Croatia will also represent Europe at the next World Championships

Serbian Ivana Djerisilo Stankovic spiking through the Romanian block in Subotica
Subotica, Serbia, July 18, 2009. Serbia beat Romania 3:1, (25-17, 26-28, 25-15, 25-15) in the second match of the 3rd Round Tournament to the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championships in Subotica. The Serbian girls started the match furiously and after two aces of Ivana Djerisilo Stankovic the score stood at 7:1 for the hosts. The Romanian block couldn’t stop the Serbian attacks, so the “Blue Girls” went to the second technical time out leading 16:11. The Serbian team played excellently in defense and won a lot of points from counter attacks. Finally, Stefana Veljkovic used the fourth set point for the Serbian lead 1:0.
The second set started more equally, but still the Serbian team was leading at the first technical time-out 8:5. The Romanians managed to turn around the game and the scoreboard showed 15:16 to Romania at the second technical time-out. Serbia received poorly at this stage of the match, so Zoran Terzic tried to recover with some substitutions, changing the attacking lines and the receivers. On the other side, Luminita Trombitas combined well with Muresan and Turlea. The hosts finished the set giving away 13 points, so after 31 minutes of play the Romanian side tied the set count.
In the third set, Serbia managed to pick up their game and went on to 8:2 and 16:3. The Romanian girls got a little breathing space in the middle of the set, but they couldn’t get back from a large deficit.
In the fourth set, Zoran Terzic’s players outclassed their rivals completely; the Romanians didn’t have the answer for Ivana Djerisilo Stankovic, neither for the Serbian block. Florin Grapa, Romanian head coach, changed the setter and Trombitas replaced Georgina Anghel. The Serbian captain, Jelena Nikolic, silvered the match point for the final 25:15 for Serbia and a big celebration started in Subotica.
In the Serbian team, Ivana Djerisilo Stankovic scored 19 points, while Jelena Nikolic and Natasa Krsmanovic got 16 each. Carmen Marinela Turlea of Romania scored 16 points, followed by Diana Georgina Muresan with 14 points.
Jelena Nikolic, Serbian captain, believes that her team achieved great success: “We made our plan, we have two important victories. We showed that we are a strong team. We had many problems during the preparations for this tournament, we struggled with injuries, but I’m glad we succeed in our goal”.
Zoran Terzic, wasn’t quite satisfied with the performance of his team: “We didn’t act as a team in this match, we didn’t fulfill all the tasks, and we didn’t stick to our plan. But the important thing is that we won, and we showed in the last two sets that we could play even better”.
Carmen Alida Marcovici, Romanian captain, thinks that her team couldn’t resolve the problem with the bad reception: “We repeated the same mistakes from the first match, and we played only the second set as we should. Our block couldn’t stop the Serbian attackers and we were doomed”.
Florin Grapa, Romanian head coach, said that Serbia showed that the difference in quality is too obvious: “I like the way Serbia is playing in this tournament and they deserve to qualify for the World Championship. We couldn’t stop them”.

Croatia made an extraordinary effort to beat Spain in the second match slated for tonight in Subotica. The Croatians eventually managed to prevail after a 5 set thriller (23-25, 25-14, 25-22, 17-25, 14-16). The Spanish girls raised their level of game from the last match against Serbia, and presented themselves as an equal partner to Croatia.
Miroslav Aksentijevic’s girls got a significant advantage only after the second technical time-out. Sanja Popovic was the best choice for the setter position, while Gligorovic was devastating in attack, leading the Croatian side to 1:0. In the second set, the Spanish girls were totally revived, and went up to 3:8 and 8:16 at the technical time-outs. Croatia had big problems in reception, poor counter attacking and bad defense. Finally, Noelia Iglesias Sanchez spiked for the tie at 25-14. The Spanish side continued with the same rhythm, with good blocking they managed to stop Sena Ušic and Mia Jerkov. Romina Lamas distributed the ball very well and Spain reached the complete turnaround. However, the Croatian girls never gave up, they found their game once again, played tougher, reduced the number of mistakes and forced their rivals to start giving away the points.
In the tie-break, both teams struggled a lot, and Spain missed the opportunity to close the match, they even had two match points at 12:14, but Croatia defended successfully. On the other hand, Croatia seized their first chance and got away with this important victory.
Patricia Aranda, Spanish captain, lamented after the missed chance: “It was a very tough match, we played well, we fought until the end, and it’s a shame we didn’t win the match”. 
Gido Vermeulen, Spanish Head Coach, was disappointed: “We couldn’t resist the pressure, the match was very emotional, and we wanted so bad to appear in the World Championship. One ball decided the winner.
Maja Poljak, Croatian Team Captain, was very excited: “We didn’t play well, but we played with all our hearts. We made a lot of efforts to win this match and we did it. We wanted so much to qualify to the World Championship and this is a great success for this team”. 
Miroslav Aksentijevic, Croatian head coach, said: “We have worked long and hard for this. We beat an excellent Spanish side and we achieved our goal”.

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20/07/2009 Serbia finishes unbeatean home tournament in Subotica
17/07/2009 Great opening for Serbia against Spain in Subotica
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15/07/2009 Serbia is confident to make it to the Worlds after home tournament in Subotica

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