Home » GP F6: Serbia edged USA to pick up their first win

GP F6: Serbia edged USA to pick up their first win

by WoV
source: fivb.org; Photo: fivb.org

Serbia had to fight hard to overcome USA 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-18, 25-23) in the Final Round of the FIVB World Grand Prix at “Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center” in Sapporo. Serbia improved to 1-1 while defending champions USA dropped to 0-2.

Jovana Brakočević top scorer in Serbia

Jovana Brakočević top scorer in Serbia

In the first set, two big thumps by Mihajlović gave Serbia a three-point advantage at the second TTO but the Americans kept fighting back and completed an impressive comeback after saving three set points, but Milena Rašić shut the door with a convincing shot down the middle that gave Serbia a 1-0 lead.

In the second set, Jenna Hagglund came in and delivered two service aces that helped move the Americans into a four-point lead at 17-13. A Hill ace – with Serbia libero Suzana Ćebić again the unlucky recipient – brought set point and Kristin Hildebrand blocked Mihajlović to end the set and even the match at 1-1.

USA had the early advantage in the third set but some crunching kills by Brakočević kept Serbia in touch. Kiraly called time outs at 10-8 and 14-9 to try and get his team back on track but the Americans fell six points back at 17-11 after two kills by Mihajlović. A couple of smashes by USA captain Hildebrand kept the Americans alive but Serbia had a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, no team could get more than a point ahead until 21-21 when a good serve by Brakočević set up an easy shot for Nataša Krsmanović to put Serbia 23-21 ahead. Two match points came after a neatly placed tip over from Brakočević, and Serbian captain Ognjenović finished things off with a classy first-time tip over at the net.

Serbia had nine blocking points – including five by captain Maja Ognjenović – while the Americans had seven. Serbia had the edge in service points, 7-6.

Jovana Brakočević scored 22 points for Serbia while her team mate Brankica Mihajlović had 20. For USA, Kelly Murphy top scored with 23 points. Lynn Kristin Hildebrand and Lauren Gibbemeyer scored 13.

See the profiles of Serbia and USA.

For more news from this competition, click on World Grand Prix 2013.

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