Press release

Serbians down Poland to clinch semifinal spot


Serbia celebrate their hard-fought win over Poland 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21) to take their ticket for Saturday's semifinals

Ankara, Turkey, August 18, 2011 - Serbia confirmed their place in the top four semifinals of the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship Turkey 2011 with a spectacular 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21) win over Poland at Baskent Sports Hall in Ankara on Thursday afternoon.

FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship

Serbia's second-round record stands at perfect 3-0 putting them out of reach of their contenders in Pool F while world No. 29 Poland dropped to 1-2 knowing they still sit in a two-way race with Brazil for the second top two semifinal spot.

Serbia’s captain Bianka Busa top-scored with 24 points while Ewelina Janicka topped Poland’s scoring with 16 in a match which saw Poland falling short of their expectations. On the other hand, Serbia carried conviction with powerful arguments at the net.

Serbia started off the match in the form they displayed against Japan on Wednesday. Busa was in prime form for Serbia while Janicka started to find her range for Poland and both teams were attacking with characteristic passion and ability.

After going 13-9 up in the first set, Poland dropped seven straight points, leading coach Andrzej Pec to call his players off for a serious chat during the second technical timeout. It was to no avail as the young Serbian stars held a five-point lead at 21-16. Milan Grsic’s side controlled their opponents at the net – Serbia had a 13-9 advantage in spiking and bettered them 5-2 in the block category. Polish Natalia Strozik hammered the Mikasa out of bounds to offer Serbia a well-deserved 1-0 set lead. 

There was not much between the two teams until 14-14 in the second set when Serbia opened up a small gap to take a 16-14 lead at the second technical break. Natasa Cikiriz served an ace to move the scoreboard to 19-16 in Serbia’s favor, before Mina Popovic and captain Bianka Busa added two kills to make it 21-17. Katarina Canak brought up set at 24-22, but Cikiriz and Lukic couldn’t conclude as Poland fought back bravely to level at 24-24. Patrycja Flakus blocked for a 25-24 Polish lead, and Ewelina Janicka added an ace to close the set out for Poland. 

Players, coaches and spectators still felt like sitting on a roller-coaster in the third set. Serbia led 12-7, before the Poles turned the tables to 15-12 in their favor by scoring eight (!) points in a row. Some moments later, Paulina Glaz sent two missiles out of bounds to give Serbia space to bounce back. The set balanced on a knife’s edge now with both teams fighting like champions. Then, in a copy of the second set, but with inversed roles, Poland didn’t convert two set balls into tangible reward, while Serbia scored four consecutive points to take the third set 26-24. 

Serbia kept the upper hand in the fourth set. Nikolina Lukic brought up match point at 24-21, before Cikiriz hammered the Serbs in heaven. 


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