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Press release

Serbia says goodbye with victory against Italy


Serbian players celebrate victory in Novi Sad

Novi Sad, Serbia, July 5, 2013 – Serbia beat Italy 3-1 (28-26, 17-25, 25-23, 25-19) the their second match of the last weekend in the 2013 FIVB World League Pool B on Sunday.

Despite their win, Serbia is officially out of the FIVB World League finals, allowing coach Kolakovic to shuffle the squad a little bit. Starovic got the chance to play instead of Atanasijevic on the opposite side, Petric got introduced to change a weary Nikola Kovacevic, and young Jovovic substituted the experienced Vlado Petkovic on the setter position.

Ivan Zaytsev of Italy topped the scorers’ chart with 19 points, while Sasa Starovic of Serbia scored 18 for the losing team. 

Early in the first set, Italy earned a 3-point advantage, but after the first technical break Serbia managed to tie the result at 9-9. However, Italy wouldn`t let go and immediately got back in front by 2 points (11-9). By the second technical break a 3-point lead was restored and Italy went to the pause leading 16-13. At 18-16 to Italy, Aleksandar Atanasijevic, the best scorer of the competition, got back into the game, and help Serbia reach the tie at 19-19 lifting the team’s spirit with couple of good serves and forcing coach Berruto to ask for a break. After an exciting finish, Serbian youngsters prevailed and concluded the set at 28-26 with a powerful killing block by Milan Rasic and Uros Kovacevic.

Italy came back with a vengeance in the beginning of the second set taking an early 8-2 lead. Serbia recuperated several points after the break on Stankovic`s serve to reach 3 points of deficit at 5-8, but Italy wouldn`t let this one slip away. They restored a 6-point lead at 12-6 and routinely wrapped up the set at 25-17 to tie the match 1-1.

Italy started the third set better, taking an early 3-1 lead, but Serbia soon regained momentum and turned the score in their favour at 6-4. However, it was Italy leading 8-7 at the first technical break. An exciting battle was seen through the second technical time-out and neither of the teams could gain some tangible advantage. Italy managed to augment the lead to 2 points of advantage after the break (21-19), but Serbia with Jovovic behind the service line managed to turn the score around and get in front at 23-22. Coach Berruto’s time-out helped Italy tie the score, but it was Serbia who reached the first set point and convert it with a powerful serve of Aleksandar Atanasijevic for 25-23 and 2:1 in sets for the home side.

It was an even match in the beginning of the fourth set, but after 3-3 on the scoreboard, Serbia stormed to the first technical break with 5 consecutive points (8-3). After the second technical time-out Serbia managed to preserve the lead, which was reduced just by one point (16-12). Italy tried with a final push after the break reducing the gap to just 2 points at 14-16, but Serbia immediately answered with two consecutive points of their own to restore a 4-point lead at 18-14. Italy fought back once again at 16-20 winning 2 points in a row (18-20) and forcing coach Kolakovic to ask for a time-out. Serbia reacted well and went up 21-18. Atanasijevic’s ace made it 22-18, and the final outcome was already in sight. Coach Berruto tried to turn the game around with a time-out, but Italy could not find strength to push once again.

In the end, a well-deserved 25-22 and 3-1 for the hosts who said goodbye to this year’s edition of the World League in a best possible way, with a victory. 

Find live scores and tournament results below:

2013 World League Tournament page 
2013 World League Schedule 
FIVB World Rankings

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