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Serbia cruise to Round of Sixteen

Serbia joined hosts Poland and Argentina in the second phase of the world championship
Wroclaw, Poland, September 6, 2014 – Serbia scored a comfortable straight-set (25-20, 25-17, 25-22) win over Venezuela to join Poland and Argentina as teams from the pool qualified to the Round of 16 at the FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship on Saturday. Venezuela and Australia will clash on Sunday for the last ticket available.

Key facts

• Third consecutive victory for Serbia after losing the opener to Poland
• It was the first match at the world championship between these two teams
• Second straight set victory for Serbia in their last 16 matches at world championships

Uros Kovacevic and Aleksandar Atanasijevic were the main scorers for the winning side with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Venezuela’s Kervin Piñerúa finished with 14 and Jesus Chourio had 10 in the loss. 

Unexpectedly, Venezuela’s team began the match with great strength. The Serbians tried to jump out to lead but precise Kervin Pinerua’s kills and an excellent double block by Jesus Chourio and Jose Carrasco caused a tied score. Not until the first technical time-out had finished, did the Europeans take a two-point lead. Alexsandar Atanasijevic, supported by Uros Kovacevic, was oppressing the opponents with his powerful spikes. When the Serbians were dangerously extending their lead, Venezuela’s players started to act more nervously. They were making more and more service errors and had problems with reception. Meanwhile, coach Igor Kolakovic’s team were showing superb kills and perfect blocks so they succeeded in the first set. Serbia won 25-20 as Chourio touched the net.

The Serbians controlled the next set for almost the whole time as they were playing with calm and concentration. Kovacevic, who stood out from the rest of the team, was producing unstoppable kills so that for the first technical time-out, the Europeans were leading 8-5. Head coach Vinzenzo Nacci’s team tried to reduce the distance, mainly with Pinerua and Chourio’s spikes. Following Atanasijevic spike that was off target, the South American side managed to take a 14-13 lead. When the second break passed, the Serbians jumped ahead to lead as they scored six points in a row. Venezuela’s team were helpless and Podrascanin’s block-out move gave Serbia victory by 25-17.

In the third set, Nacci’s team were showing a similar attitude as at the start of the match. The Serbians had difficulty finishing their moves as Venezuela’s team were more careful in receiving balls. Still, the Europeans found a way to surprise their opponents’ defence. Substitute, Sasa Starovic gained some vital points for his team following astonishing spikes and Serbia led before the second technical time-out, 16-13. Pinerua attempted to change the result for Venezuela, however with the focused Europeans it was a difficult task. As soon as the South American side got closer to Serbia’s score, Kolakovic’s team immediately gained more points. With Pinerua’s spike error, the Serbians won the last set 25-22.


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