Belgrade, June 26, 2009 – Argentina beat Serbia 25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 13-15 in a five-set match that took over an hour and a half to complete at the Sports Hall Pionir in Belgrade.
Argentina was eager to win and started hard. Points were made on both sides and Serbia led by one, following which they succeeded in winning the point to the first TTO. Quiroga on Starovic, who this time proved again to be the best scorer of the match, and the block was too strong to finish with another point for Serbia. Extremely strong services of Argentina got them a lot of points. Couple of service errors again of the Serbian Team and the result was a constant two point difference. Furiously protecting their court, the Argentineans were not able to reduce the point difference and the Serbian Team reached the second TTO with 16:12. A point almost unseen by Kovacevic and then a long rally won by patience of the Argentinians. Both teams made service errors. At 21:19, it was the patience of Podrascanin and Petkovic this time that got them a second point in a row. Weber again called for a TO and the setting of Vlado Petkovic was perfect for Nikola Kovacevic to score. It was the second set ball that Kovacevic did use to finish the set after a hammerlike spike ending the set with 25:20.
Following the spike of Quiroga in the second set, Starovic scored and added an ace, to fail the next. The Serbian Team took off slowly but it was the error of Starovic on the service. Unbelievable effort of Agentina on the court to catch every ball made all the spectators of Pionir cheer for them, but the block was too soft. Point after point and the Serbian Team got to the first TTO with 8:7. They followed each other as Argentinian equaled 9:9. The point was repeated after a dead ball. Podrascanin caught the ball but it went too far out. Another point for point game and after a ball that seemed lost Starovic made all of it and then it was the block of Stankovic and Janic that got them to the second TTO. Weber introduced Chavez and Garcia attacked again to score for the 16th point, but the three-men block worked again. Two block outs and Argentina led by 1 point. Samardzic wasn’t able to resolve the spikes of Argentina and they led again. Then it was Serbia to follow Argentina. Patience and tactics scored them the 20th point after a long rally. 21:21 and Garcia found a soft spot in the three man block to score 23:21, after which Kolakovic had to call for a TO. Stankovic was back and at 22:23, Maric replaced Kovacevic for the service but failed and Kovacevic was back. The first set ball for Argentinean served by 15 scored and the second set ended with 22:25 in 22 minutes.
More composed and determined to make some points worth while the Serbian Team started high with services of Starovic. Podrascanin was in excellent form with the spike. Strong on the service, Chavez helped his Team score. Quite a few points of great attraction played with a heel of the Argentinian player Chavez which caused him a minor injury. Being unable to continue Scholtis replaced him but the result kept rising for the Serb Team and at 9:5, Weber called for a TO, helping his Team recover and score. Spectacular points on both sides and great effort for each point. Lucky point for Starovic as the ball he spiked caught the shoulder of Quiroga. Another unfortunate point for Srb due to misunderstanding of Argentinian players. Soon the Srb Team after a block out of Spajic reached the second TTO at 16:10. After the TTO it was a point scored for Argentinian, then Ocampo replaced Garcia after which Spajic spiked for 16:12. 3rd point in a row made Kolakovic call for a TO to break the scoring and right he did as Kovacevic found the soft spots in the block of Argentinean, but so did Argentinean. Kovacevic on either side of the net presented a danger. Block after block in a rally in which Srb Team had the patience and experience to score raising the spectators and forcing Weber to take a TO. At 20:14, Maric replaced Janic and after a point for Argentinean scored with a hammer spike. In a point believed lost, Starovic not only found an entrance to the block but scored softly, causing quite a confusion in the Argentinean Team as the points soared to 24:16, but the first set ball was lost in a service error, the second in a block out and another block out, forcing Kolakovic to take the TO. After an incredible rally in which every ball seemed to be leading to a point, Serbia scored to end the set after 24minutes.
The fourth set started with a point of Starovic, followed by the eager Ocampo. Point after point they equaled. The ace of Quiroga at 5:6 made a 2 point difference that remained until the first TTO.Starovic made it clear that he was not letting any ball go without a score. Spectacle of volleyball that was so appreciated by the spectators of Belgrade Pionir. Again it was the game of nerves with service errors on both sides, both wishing to win. Kovacevic was unable to pass his well known spike as the Argentinean Team scored and with a strange boxing service of Ocampo, Kolakovic called for a TO following three consecutive points. Then another ace of Scholtis and it was not the result that Kolakovic wished for as Argentinean came to the second TTO with 16:13. Starovic passed through the block of Spajic and Ocampo but so did Spajic. Replacing Janic, Maric made a beating point and an ace came from Stankovic, followed an error as well. At 17:20, Kolakovic again called for a TO. As the Serbian Team approached the result 20:22, the hall was frantic for the victory. After a point of Argentinean and a tactic replacement not resulting in a point, Weber called for a TO at 22:23. With Janic instead of Kovacevic and a frenzy in the hall, Argentinean reached their first set ball. Janic replaced Bjelica and after a point of Srb 23:24, and not used situation on the net, Srb lost the set with 23:25.
In the tie-break that followed Argetina soon led by 2 points forcing Kolakovic to take a TO. 4:4 and the well known soft block of Podrascanin and Janic, followed by an ace of Janic with a 2 point difference now for the Serb Team made Weber take the TO. Porporatto broke the block to score 5:6 and then came the horrid ace of Ocampo. The second was well defended and after a point on each side it was 7:7. Kovacevic scored for the 8th point. Quiroga scored for the 8th point and Scholtis passed through the triple block. After the 10th point as Starovic failed to pass through the block, Kolakovic called again for a TO in the attempt to save the set and match. Service error of Kovacevic and Quiroga brought them to 10:11. Undecided and very nervous Teams with substitutions on both sides trying to improve the tactics. Unfortunately for the Serbian Team with a spike of Starovic high out above all players and 12:14, Argentinian failed to score first set and match ball but the second one was theirs with a block-out after 15 minutes.