FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2006
Serbia and Montenegro take another big name scalp
November 1, Nagoya: Serbia and Montenegro underlined their credentials as tournament dark horses with a shock win over Cuba in Pool D.
Ivana Djerisilo (SCG) celebrates
The eastern Europeans, who had upset defending champions Italy in their opening game, added another scalp with an impressive 3-1 victory in Nagoya.
Serbia and Montenegro, playing in their first World Championships for 28 years, took the first set before being pegged back by the powerful Cubans.
But a dominant display won Serbia and Montenegro the third set, before a fightback in the fourth gave the underdogs another victory to savour and put them in pole position to win the group.
Both teams had got off to a good start in the opening day's play at Nagoya's Rainbow Hall.
Before Serbia and Montenegro's heroics, Cuba had been given a useful workout by the impressive Turks, but came through unscathed in straight sets.
Cuba roared out the blocks in their second game, with Carrillo firing a snap-shot at Serbia and Montenegro, and Rosir Calderon testing her range with a spike to the back of the court.
But the Eastern Europeans showed the same hunger they had when taking the game to the Italians the night before, and a clever tip over from Ivana Djerisilo gave them a 5-4 advantage.
The lead changed hands several times afterwards, with both teams refusing to give an inch.
Cuba coach Felipe Calderon, prowling the touchline, then called a time-out with his side 11-10 down.
But Serbia and Montenegro retained their lead going into the second TTO, after a rocket spike on the left wing from Anja Spasojevic.
The set edged nearer to the closing stages without a clear leader, and Cuba called another time-out at 22-19 down.
Yanelis Santos then scored with a huge spike, but Serbia and Montenegro gave themselves the chance to draw first blood with set point.
A Cuban attack held Serbia and Montenegro at bay for the moment, but a serve into the net by Cuba's Santos gave the Europeans the first set 25-22.
Daimi Ramirez looked for another way through Serbia and Montenegro at the start of the second set, tipping over a delicate touch when the defence were waiting for a Carrillo power spike.
The Carrillo smash did make an appearance soon after, however, as Cuba drew level at 9-9.
But Spasojevic was not to be outdone, replying in similar fashion for Serbia and Montenegro.
Yumilka Ruiz and Vesna Citakovic both weighed in with points as both teams blasted away at each other, but it was Cuba who headed into the second TTO with the slenderest of leads at 16-15.
A Djerisilo lob brought Serbia and Montengro back into the reckoning just as it looked like Cuba might pull away, but then a tremendous block by Ruiz gave Cuba a 22-19 advantage.
A Calderon spike took Cuba to set point, before a Ramirez block from Serbia and Montenegro captain Citakovic brought the teams level at one set apiece.
The Europeans looked to recover quickly, and soon took a 7-2 lead in the third set.
Citakovic smashed the ball through a forest of hands at the net, then added another point with a service ace.
But Ruiz was still causing problems down the left, and lobbed a shot over the heads of the Serbia and Montenegro blockers at the net.
Serbia and Montenegro coach Zoran Terzic was becoming more animated on the sidelines as his team took a 19-14 lead, but Djerisilo helped settle his nerves with an outstanding block from Calderon in full flight.
Citakvoic then gave the Europeans set point, and Djerisilo finished it in style with an ace from service.
Liana Mesa made an impact as Cuba made an urgent attempt to get back into the match at the start of the third set.
The number 11 combined with teammate Carrillo to shut out a Jelena Nikolic spike, before slamming the ball past the defence as Cuba took an early lead.
Mesa then produced another hammer spike to take Cuba into the second TTO with a 16-11 advantage, but Serbia and Montenegro gritted their teeth and fought their way back to 20-20.
The Europeans then gained two match points, clinching the victory at the second time of asking when a Cuban return dropped just wide of the sideline.