FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011

MATCH INFO

Serbia overcome Korea 3-0 in Nagano


Serbia's Tijana Malesevic keeps the ball in play during the victory of her side over Korea in straight sets at Nagano on Friday

Nagano, Japan, November 4, 2011 – Serbia started their FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup 2011 campaign with a 3-0 (27-25, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Korea at Nagano White Ring on Friday.

Milena Rasic was named Most Impressive Player after scoring 14 points. She was ably supported by Natasa Krsmanovic and Ana Bjelica, who both scored 10. Korea were led by Kim Keon-Young with 20 points. Korea outblocked Serbia 9-3.

Both teams started the match slowly, but a couple of errors by the Koreans allowed Serbia to take a three-point lead at the first TTO. A great block by Korean captain Kim Se-Young on Brizitka Molnar and a spike by left-handed Hwang Youn-Joo reduced the gap to one point, but after the Serbs pulled away to 11-7, Korea coach Kim Hyung-Sil called a timeout. It appeared to do the trick, although both sides were guilty of errors in the second phase. Another great block by Kim Se-Young boosted Korea and they pulled level at 15-15 when Molnar failed to handle a Kim Yeon-Koung serve. Serbia coach Zoran Terzic called a timeout when Korea went ahead at 17-16 and Kim did likewise when Serbia opened up a two-point gap at 21-19 after some heavy hitting from Sanja Malagurski. Korea drew level at 23-23 when Kim Yeon-Koung made a terrific block on Malagurski, who went down in obvious pain with a leg injury. The Serbs saved two set points before earning one of their own when the Koreans failed to manage a serve from substitute Bjelica. A block by Krsmanovic then put the Serbs a set up.

With the talismanic Malagurski going off on a stretcher, the Serbs lost their way at the beginning of the second set and Terzic had to haul his players off court at 0-4. But two great blocks by Kim Yeon-Koung and Kim Se-Young extended Korea’s lead to 7-2 before some sloppy play by the Koreans allowed Serbia to narrow the gap to 7-5. In truth, neither side were at their best, but Serbia’s Tijana Malesevic tried to fill the gap left by the departure of Malagurski with some strong hits. After leading 13-11, the Koreans lost the plot and gave up six straight points to the Serbs thanks to poor receiving and setting. They pulled back to within a point at 19-18 and 20-19, but long hits by Hwang allowed Serbia to pull ahead again. Jovana Vesovic brought up setpoint with a spike and put her team 2-0 up with a block on Hwang.

A series of Serbian errors allowed Korea to take a four-point lead at the first TTO in the third set. Two more by Malesevic followed by a rocket serve from Kim Yeon-Koung took the score to 11-6 and prompted Terzic to call a timeout. Kim did likewise when Serbia pulled back to 12-9, but Serbia once again forced their way back into the set with another six-point run. After taking the lead at 15-14, Serbia never looked back. A netted serve by Park Jeong-Ah brought up matchpoint and Bjelica finished things off with a spike.

On Friday Serbia will meet World Grand Prix champions USA while Korea take on Germany.


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