Serbia's impressive defence and overall power proved too much for Peru as the 2006 bronze medallists claimed their third win from as many matches
Tokyo, Japan, October 31, 2010 - Coming off wins against Costa Rica and Poland in their first two Pool A matches, Serbia kept their momentum going with a 3-1 (25-21, 16-25, 25-21, 25-18) victory over Peru in Tokyo on Sunday.
It was the second defeat in as many days for Cheol-Yong Kim's Peru side who showed signs that their tough late-night match against Japan on Saturday had taken its toll. Stefana Veljkovic led the scoring for Serbia with 14 points, supported by four other teammates in double digits. Peru captain Leyla 'Ley' Chihuan scored 18 points, including five blocks.
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There was a sluggish start to the match although Sanja Malagurski attacked well for Serbia and Patricia Soto countered for Peru. The Europeans led 8-7 early on and Serbia captain Jelena Nikolic jumped in with a couple of blistering spikes to push her side further ahead at 17-13. The Serbs had some difficulty closing out the set as a number of unforced errors allowed Peru to claw their way back but eventually a fabulous kill by Nikolic at set-point wrapped it up at 25-21. Malagurski led the first-set scorers with seven points.
In the second set, Yulissia Zamudio helped the Peruvians into an 8-3 lead, with great blocking on Jovana Vesovic who was struggling to get things going out wide. The change of momentum prompted Serbia coach Zoran Terzic to withdraw Nikolic and Malagurski. Eventually his team put together a run, scoring seven of 10 points, but a pair of spikes by Soto gave Peru the set 25-16 in impressive fashion, making it 1-1.
Both teams made errors as the third set began, but Peru held a slight edge with Ley tipping superbly to put her team 8-7 up. A scorching ace by Jovana Brakocevic then put Serbia ahead 12-11, but no team led by more than one point until late in the set when Serbia stretched their advantage to 21-17 via an ace by Veljkovic. Good blocking by Natasa Krsmanovic and a spike by Malagurski, who had only recently returned to the court, helped Serbia take it 25-21.
There was again little to divide the teams early in the fourth set, with the scoreboard reading 10-10 at one stage. But Serbia moved 18-15 in front thanks to five consecutive points and a sensational attacking spike by Brakocevic. Brizitka Molnar finally put away a spike to win the set (25-21) and the match after a wonderful dig by Suzana Cebic.