November 18, 2006, Sendai, Japan ó Serbia-Montenegro beat Kazakhstan 25-
16, 22-25, 25-18, 25-22 on Saturday for their second successive victory in Pool
The 33rd-ranked Kazakhstanis put up a struggle against their mighty opponents in a
match where neither team could find a consistent rhythm, but it was Serbia-
Montenegroís attacking quality that edged it in the end.
After acting as his teamís talisman in Fridayís stunning victory over Russia,
Goran Vujevic sat out all of this win.
The 33-year-old veteran may have been given the chance to rest, but the men
given the chance to play in his place didnít let the side down.
The boys in blue raced into a 16-6 lead going into the first technical break of the
opening set, with some gigantic spikes from all areas of the field.
The rest of the set whizzed by before Veljko Petkovicís massive spike down the
middle brought up set point, and a poor serve from Marat Imangaliyev gave
Serbia-Montenegro a 1-0 lead.
The Kazakhstanis' 210-cm captain Svyatoslav Miklashevich stepped up for three big
spikes early in the second set to push his team to an 8-7 lead at the first TTO.
They kept their one-point lead up to the second technical break on the back of
some booming Imangaliyev serves and a stingy net defense.
Imangaliyev then showed his delicate side to dink the ball over two blockers to
put his team 20-18 ahead, before two huge Miklashevich winners put them 23-
His block then brought set point before another from Kirill Konovalov clinched
Star player Miljkovic ó one of the stars of the win over Russia ó began to find
his range in the third set and hit some clean winners from the right wing, which
brought his side to the first TTO ahead 8-6.
Serbia-Montenegro then put together a five-point run that gave them a
commanding 16-9 lead at the second TTO and they closed out the set with the
same points gap.
They did enough to get to the second TTO in the fourth set 16-14 ahead, but
there was still little of the fireworks seen in the spectacular victory over Russia
and the Kazakhstanis still looked dangerous.
The left-handed Dmitry Gorbatkov crashed a brilliant diagonal winner to put
them within a point of the blues and a brilliant ace from Imangaliyev preserved
that gap at 22-21.
He then put the next service into the net, though, and Serbia-Montenegro's flying winger Miljkovic set-up match point at 24-22, and his team clinched the match on a net violation.