FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Serbia take pool honours with 3-0 demolition of Russia

Uros Kovacevic was a key part of Serbia's potent attack

Uberlandia, Brazil, October 11, 2013 - Serbia claimed top pool B honours at the Men's U23 World Championship with a 3-0 (21-15, 21-16, 21-18) win against Russia on the final day of pool matches at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves.

Serbia started the opening set very strongly going 8-2 ahead on the strength of captain Aleksandar Atanasijevic's serving and spiking. Russia got closer just after the technical timeout through wing spiker Ivan Komarov, but Russia made too many errors as the set closed and Serbia took it 21-15. 

Serbia built a 10-4 lead in the first part of the second set, with wing spiker Uros Kovacevic and middle blocker Srecko Lisinac assisting captain Atanasijevic with the attacking points. In addition, Serbia's blocking defence restricted Russia's spiking options, isolating Komarov as their principal attacker. Leading 12-6 at the technical timeout, Serbia turned the lead into a 21-16 set win.

The third set was closer, but with the confidence of two-set lead Serbia were able to stay just ahead. As ever Atanasijevic was a reliable source of points as Russia's net defence was unable to contain the Serbian opposite. Russia head coach Sergei Shliapnikov tried one last timeout at 19-17, but Serbia closed out the set 21-18 and the match 3-0 on three-man net block.

Atanasijevic was Serbia's leading scorer with 18 points, more than double Serbia's next best Kovacevic (8), while Komarov's 12 was Russia's highest score.

The second phase of the tournament starts on Saturday and Serbia's semi-final opponent is yet to confirmed, but they will play whichever team finishes second in pool A, likely to be either Argentina or Bulgaria. In the other semi-final Russia will now play the pool A winners, likely to be Brazil.

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