November 22, 2006, Sendai, Japan ó Serbia-Montenegro will start the second round with a valuable unbeaten record after storming past Canada in straight sets on Wednesday.
The fourth-ranked Serbia-Montenegro, fourth at the 2002 world championships, notched their fifth victory 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 with another polished performance in Pool D.
Both teams had already qualified for Pool E but with the win-loss record so important in the second round neither team was going to take it easy.
The problem for Canada, who go into the second round with a 3-2 record, was that when Serbia-Montenegro are on form not many teams in the world can compete with them.
Serbia-Montenegro moved to the first TTO with a one-point advantage, but both sides were still finding their range and the scores stayed close together.
Steve Brinkman was proving solid at the net for Canada with some good blocks, while Pascal Cardinal was working the left wing well. But despite their good efforts, Serbia-Montenegro inched to a 13-9 lead, at which point coach Glenn Hoag called a time out for Canada.
Things didnít improve, with a Goran Vujevic blockbuster serve forcing Cardinal into an attempted return even though the ball looked on its way out, and the TTO came with Serbia-Montenegro 16-10 ahead.
Ivan Miljkovic started to have an influence on the game midway through the first half and a delightful fake to spike gave him the room to tap the ball into space and put his team 18-14 ahead.
Hoag called time out No. 2 but things didnít improve, even if Frederic Winters was racking up some big winners.
Set point arrived quickly and a Murray Grapentine spike into the net secured the first bracket for Serbia-Montenegro, 25-18.
They started the second as they finished the first ó comfortably in control ó and raced to an 11-5 lead that prompted another early time out call from Hoag.
Things didnít get any better, though as Slobodan Boskan jumped high on the left to bring the second TTO at 16-10 and the score moved quickly to 21-15 on some good blocking from Serbia-Montenegro and the set was wrapped up soon after, 25-18.
With the match slipping away, Hoag had long withdrawn Michael Munday, Brinkman and Cardinal to save them for the later matches while giving some of the other players a game.
A big ace from Paul Duerden put the score at 10-9 Canada in the third set, but that was the last time Canada would lead in the set, although Winters did level it at 12-12 with a huge angled spike.
Serbia-Montenegro moved to 16-12 with Miljkovic weighing in with some powerful spikes on the right and Boskan crashed in an awesome spike to increase the lead.
Christian Bernier was doing well on the left for Canada with some quick-fire spikes, but match point quickly arrived for Serbia-Montenegro and they only needed one chance in taking it.