The Serbia Women's National Team heads once again to Japan, the place of their greatest success. In November 2006 at the FIVB Women's World Championships finale in Osaka, the girls in blue got hold of their first medal on the world stage - the bronze - and were considered by many the most pleasant surprise of the whole tournament.
Before the World Championships in Japan, Serbia and Montenegro, as the team was at the time, had participated only once before in the World Championships in 1978 under the name of Yugoslavia and finished 16th.
The Volleyball Federation of Serbia had set the goal of medals for 2007, but the team of Head Coach Zoran Terzic played brilliantly in the 2006 Championships to beat Italy, Cuba, Peru, Egypt, Turkey, Korea, Poland, Chinese Taipei and then Italy again in the match for third place.
In a grand celebration, more than 10,000 supporters gave the stars a fantastic reception in front of the City Hall of Belgrade on their return, the players hailed as champions for the whole nation.
As a result of many injuries in 2007 among the Serbian players the team did not qualify for the World Grand Prix 2008 but, at the 2007 European Championships in Belgium and Luxemburg, Serbia won the silver medal and qualified for the first World Cup in the history of Women's Volleyball in Serbia.
The result was by far the best result the Serbians had ever achieved in the European Championships and gave them, for the very first time, the chance to qualify for the Olympic Games.
At the World Cup in 2007, the Serbians finished fifth, winning seven matches and losing four, proving their quality once again but missing out on the top three places that guarantee Olympic qualification.
Now comes Japan and the Women's World Olympic Qualification Tournament.
Incredibly aware of the difficult task that awaits them, the Serbians are ready to put everything to the test to try to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time.
Leading Serbia to two major medals in as many years has launched the young Zoran Terzic to the top of the list of successful Women's Volleyball coaches.
A bronze medal from the 2006 FIVB World Championships and silver from the 2007 European Championships means Terzic appears to be the latest in a long line of promising Head Coaches who have made the transition from the Volleyball court to the sidelines.
Terzic, born July 9, 1966, in Belgrade, studied Physical Education at the Faculty of Physical Culture in Belgrade, where he graduated in 1998. He played for the Red Star Club in Belgrade from 1979 until 1986, playing at all levels for the "red-and-whites." Terzic stopped playing to continue his studies.
The beginning of his coaching career is tied to Drago Tomic, former National Team Head Coach of Yugoslavia, who won bronze with the Senior Men's Team at the 1979 European Championship in Paris.
He first worked as an assistant coach with "IMT" Club Head Coach Goran Nesic in Belgrade. In 1996, he started working for VC "Red Star" as Coach of their Juniors and won with them all that could be won, from the Championships of Belgrade to those of Serbia and Yugoslavia.
As a player, Terzic was a member of the Belgrade Junior Team that claimed first place in 1985 in the traditional and international event known as the "May Tournament of the City of Belgrade," and he won it again as coach in 1998.
He never planned to coach girls, but at the suggestion of Mr. Aleksandar Boricic, (Director of VC "Crvena Zvezda" (Red Star), President of the Volleyball Federation of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and presently Serbia and FIVB Executive Vice-President) he started helping coach Senior girls.
This has lasted ever since the end of 2005-2006 season. As a coach of Red Star girls, he snapped the winning streak of VC "Jedinstvo" from Uzice in the National Championships and subsequently replaced Darko Zakoc on the bench of the National Team in 2002.
"Participation in the Olympic Games now, that is the greatest dream of all athletes and the coaches equally," said Terzic recently.
"We know very well that we will encounter extremely good quality teams, but we shall try to get the pass for Beijing in our lucky Japan.
"That, believe me, would be the greatest success; to play in the Olympic Games for the very first time ever."