FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Serbia fall under pressure as USA advance to Final Six

US players celebrate their 3-1 win over Serbia in Belgrade

Belgrade, Serbia, July 6, 2014 - In the last match of the 2014 World League Pool B, USA beat Serbia 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20) and advanced to the Final Six to take place in Florence later this month. In front of 7,600 cheering fans of the Pionir Hall in Belgrade, the home side failed to deal with the pressure this game brought upon their shoulders. 

Key points:

• Sealing a 3-1 victory over Serbia, USA capped on top of Pool B with 24 points ahead of Russia (24 points also but with a lower win-loss set ratio), Serbia (20) and Bulgaria (4). 

• USA join Russia, who earlier registered a straight-sets win over Bulgaria, as Pool B finalists to progress to the 2014 World League Final Six in Florence (16-20 July). Both teams will meet Pool A leaders and hosts Italy, Iran (second in group A) and Brazil (third) plus the Group 2 Final Four winners to be decided in Sydney next week (11-13 July).

• USA won nine of their World League 12 matches and lost three of them (3-2 against Bulgaria, 3-0 against Russia, 3-0 against Serbia yesterday).

• USA and Serbia met seven times in World League history with USA leading 4-3. They also played the 2008 Final, won 3-1 by USA.

It was an even start of the match for both teams, and there was a frequent change of lead in the scoreboard all the way through the second technical timeout (16-14 to the USA). After the break, Serbia's game completely fell apart and the US team easily wrapped the first set up at 25-21.

The second set started pretty much in the same way as the first one, and the visitors went to the first technical timeout leading 8-7. Then, USA started building an advantage which increased to four points (13-9). However, a powerful killing spike by Uros Kovacevic, followed by several serving bombes of his brother Nikola, saw Serbia turn the scores around in their favour (14-13). This was the turning point of the second set, as the home side, carried by their cheering fans of the Pionir Hall, stormed to a 25-20 win to tie the match 1-1.

The crowd saw a great battle in the third set, as both teams fought hard for every ball. It was a point-by-point game all the way through the second technical timeout (with USA leading 16-15). The visiting side increased their advantage, as Serbia made too many unforced mistakes. At 23-19 for USA, Serbia’s coach Kolakovic called for a timeout. It served well for the home side as they managed to come close at 22-23, and then tie the score at 24-24. In the key moments, the US block worked better and stopped Serbia’s attack at 26-25 to score one point and take a 2-1 lead in sets.

The Serbian team struggled a lot in the fourth set. They managed to stay close to their opponents until the first TTO (8-7 to the USA), but after that they felt their pressure and started losing focus. The visitors widened the lead before the second technical break to three points (16-13), and continued at the same pace until the end. Serbia could not find any reply against an inspired US game. USA celebrated a well-deserved 25-20 set-win and a 3-1 victory to qualify for the finals in Florence.

Aleksandar Atanasijevic of Serbia and Matthew Anderson of the USA topped the scorers’ chart with 19 points each. 

Download highresolution


| More

More press releases

18.12.2014 15:00:05
Year in review: Second World League triumph for USA
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 18, 2014 – The FIVB Volleyball World League provided thrills and spills across nine weeks of exciting action, celebrat... More...
24.07.2014 10:52:10
World League's top four USA, Brazil, Italy and Iran contribute to Dream Team
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 24, 2014 – USA outside hitter Taylor Sander topped the statistical charts to receive the highest individual honour in the ... More...
22.07.2014 16:16:30
Andrea Zorzi: Speed is at the heart of modern volleyball
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2014 - After the end of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League, former Italian champion Andrea Zorzi talked about the d... More...
22.07.2014 15:00:52
World League performances reshuffle world ranking
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2014 – The 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League has resulted in a reshuffle of the senior men’s world ranking, with Serbi... More...
21.07.2014 01:09:50
Talking Stats: USA join World League’s multiple gold medal club; Italy win back-to-back bronze
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 20, 2014 – USA secured their second gold medal in the competition and became the fourth nation to earn multiple gold medal... More...
21.07.2014 00:07:58
USA upset Brazil to claim second World League title
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – USA, ranked fourth in the world, beat world No. 1 Brazil in four outstanding sets 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) to... More...
20.07.2014 23:04:47
Lee hails 'unbelievable' team after USA scoop gold medal
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - USA's players hailed an "unbelievable" 3-1 win (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) over world no.1 ranked Brazil in the Worl... More...
20.07.2014 22:58:12
Dynamic USA power past Brazil to grab World League gold
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – USA stunned Brazil 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) to claim the gold medal at the FIVB World League Finals in Floren... More...
20.07.2014 19:19:49
We will go for gold soon, says Italy's Travica
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – Italian setter Dragan Travica said that Italy can win a future tournament soon, after they claimed the bronze medal i... More...
20.07.2014 19:12:13
Italy claim second consecutive World League Finals bronze
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - Italy claimed the bronze medal of the 2014 FIVB World League Finals, beating Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22) in a sold... More...