Belgrade, July 18, 2009 – Joyful atmosphere created in hall PIONIR in spite of bad weather and some 2000 spectators, wished the Serbian Team good luck in the Final Tournament of the World League 2009, as they won the last week-end’s match in Pool B with 3:1, in sets 23:25; 25:17; 25:21 and 25:22. In a match that lasted an hour and a half, Serbian Team succeeded in proving their good form before the Finals of the World League that will be held next week in the Belgrade Arena.
The last match of the World League Intercontinental Round 2009 started with a lack of concentration of the Serbian Team which was soon recovered so that with a powerful block they were able to respond to ever harder spikes of the Yung-Suk Shin. Korean defense and their counterattack was quite good until the Olympic veterans decided to change something about their game, easily reaching the first TTO. Yo-Han Kim’s services were hard to receive and Oh-Hyun Yeo had a difficult task of catching around the impossible hammer-like spikes of Ivan Miljkovic. Unlike the first match in Nis where it was evident that the concentration of the Serbian Team was weak, the “Blue Boys” showed their Team spirit and were able to find the right response. In the second part Koreans kept tailing the Serbian Team with 2 point difference cutting it to one, while Ho-Chul Park kept making tactical substitutions. With Lim and Ha on the block, Koreans succeeded in equaling to 22:22 in spite of some service errors and even led coming to their first set ball, when Igor Kolakovic, Serbian head Coach called for a TO. Korean Team succeeded reaching the first set ball that they used, finishing the set in 24 minutes.
With one set lost, Koreans gained courage to play harder and hit with all their might with their libero Yeo all over the court. But it was the experience of the Serbian Team that led him to the first TTO. Serbian Team kept leading with two points, although the Koreans closed in. Geric and Miljkovic gave momentum to the Serbian Team. Koreans were hard on Serbian libero, who was not always able to take on the spikes of Kim and Shin. The Koreans were unable to keep up the rhythm even though they did everything to return every single shot of moody Serbian Team. 22:15 but the Koreans kept their service high and while their concentration and rhythm fell, Serbian Team regained their strength to win the set in 21 minute and 8 point difference.
The third set showed nervousness of both teams as service errors came from both sides. Korean block was not as strong and it was now Miljkovic and Janic that were hard on them passing through without the right response. Shin and his teammates kept aiming at young Rosic but they were soon punished by the ever joyful Nikic and Janic. Grbic setting worked well with both Miljkovic and Geric and the points kept up. All that time, Park substituted his players trying to find the right combination. But with Janic on parallel and Petkovic on service at the result of 21:15, Park called for a TO. Chul-Woo Park’s service did make Serbian Team uneasy, but after a parallel of Nikic, he was off. After 3 consecutive points of the Korean Team, Kolakovic called for a TO picking up their . Third set finished in 24 minutes with 25:21.
It was the determining set with all the might of both Teams in which they proved their position in the World League, the young upcoming generations and the Olympic winners and their young teammates gaining experience in these top class volleyball matches. Equaling all the way to the first TTO, Serbian Team took off but, trying to put an end to Serbian points, Head Coach Park called for a TO, and succeeded as Park spiked and scored. Not only did they equal but with an action of Kwon and Kim they overtook but only for a short while. Another Grbic and Stankovic block. Equaling their way to the second TTO Kim and Ha found a way through the block. It was only Janic’s second spike in the rally that brought the Serbian Team to the second TTO. Korean Team fought painstakingly for each point, not giving up. After a TO of the Korean Team, Serbian Team still gained their chance for a set and match point and finished the match in 92 minutes.