and Montenegro beat Italy twice to claim Pool C lead
Switzerland, June 27, 2004 – Two clinical performances
from Serbia and Montenegro saw the Olympic champions
beat world number two Italy 3-2 and 3-1 and leapfrog the
Italians at the top of the Pool C standings on the
completion of week four of the six-week long
Intercontinental Round of the 2004 World League on
Pic: Serbia and Montenegro and their coach
Ljubomir Travica celebrate victory
Both teams experimented with their lineups
during the two matches in Verona and Modena but Serbia
and Montenegro proved too innovative and strong in
claiming the first match (21-25, 32-30, 17-25, 26-24,
15-8) and the second match (22-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-19).
"There were suggestions at home about my choice to bring
some young players here and not play with a stronger
team,” Ljubomir Travica, the Serbia & Montenegro coach,
said. “It was a risk, a real risk, but calculated. We
have shown that we can win with any team now".
Serbia and Montenegro, last year’s World League runner’s
up, now lead Pool C with six wins and two defeats.
Victory in either of their two matches against China
next weekend will confirm their spot in the Final Round.
The best classified team from each pool joins hosts
Italy in the World League Final Round from July 16-18.
China sit third in Pool C with three victories after
beating Cuba twice at home; 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-21,
25-23) and 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21). Cuba are
fourth with two wins.
Pool B, meanwhile, remains unchanged at the top with
Poland maintaining their lead after they lost to and
then defeated France in two exhilarating matches in
Nantes. France won the opening match 3-2 (25-22, 26-24,
22-25, 22-25, 17-15) before Poland replied in the second
game 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 18-25, 15-8).
Poland lead Pool B with six wins and two defeats while
France (five wins, three defeats) have been joined by
Bulgaria, who kept Japan winless with two victories in
Tokorozawa (3-1 (29-27, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23) and 3-2
(25-15, 25-18, 21-25, 22-25, 15-10)), each having five
wins and three defeats to their name.
Defending champions Brazil just need one win from their
four remaining matches in Pool A to secure a berth in
the Final Round. They beat second-placed Greece 3-0
(25-20, 25-22, 25-21) and 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-22) in
front of amazing crowds in Belo Horizonte.
Unbeaten Brazil now lead Pool A with eight victories
with Greece the next best side with four wins and four
Big Pool C showdown highlights Week 4 action
Switzerland, June 25, 2004 – Italy versus Serbia and
Montenegro is the headline act as Week 4 of the 2004
World League begins on Friday.
The Pool C clash is a match up between the silver and
bronze medalists at the 2003 World Cup and the bronze
and silver medalists at last year’s World League
competition respectively and is the first time these two
Volleyball giants have met in this year's competition.
Pic: Italy will be looking to maintain their
lead at the top of Pool C during Week 4 of the World
With only three weeks left in Intercontinental Round
action, Italy (five wins) lead Serbia and Montenegro
(four wins) at the top of the pool but as Final Round
hosts, Italy, the European champions, automatically
qualify for the final phase. Serbia and Montenegro must
finish ahead of Cuba and China, who have two victories
and one victory respectively, to progress to the last
The first of two matches between the No 2 and No 3 teams
on the world rankings starts at 18:30 GMT in Verona. The
second match is at 16:00 GMT on Sunday in Modena.
China and Cuba play the opening match of the weekend at
11:45 GMT in Shanghai before playing again on Saturday
at the same time.
Friday’s only other match sees France host Poland in the
first of two key Pool B matches, with both sides looking
to make a break on the other at the top of Pool B. The
18:15 GMT matches on Friday and Saturday in Nantes see
Poland hoping to extend their one point lead on France
at the top of the pool. Poland have 11 points from five
wins while France have 10 points from four victories.
Pool B’s other matches see winless Japan host third
placed Bulgaria (three wins) on Saturday (06:00 GMT) and
Sunday (05:00 GMT) in Tokorozawa.
Meanwhile, defending champions Brazil will be looking to
continue their unbeaten run in Pool A in two matches
against second-placed Greece (four wins, two defeats) in
Belo Horizonte at 13:00 GMT on Saturday and Sunday.
Portugal and Spain clash in the other Pool A showdown in
Porto on Saturday and Sunday at 16:00 GMT.
At the end of the six weeks of Intercontinental Round
action the best classified team from each pool joins
hosts Italy in the World League Final Round from July