Home » CEV M: Serbia overcomes tough Slovenia and waits for the last Pool I match tonight

CEV M: Serbia overcomes tough Slovenia and waits for the last Pool I match tonight

by WoV
source: cev.lu

Serbia did what was necessary to stay in contention for the second semifinal spot available from Pool I at the 2012 Olympic Games - European Qualification for men in Bulgaria. The team of head coach Igor Kolakovic took the three points from its last match in the pool – 3:1 (22-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-15) against a tough Slovenian team. However, in order to qualify for tomorrow’s semis, the Blues have to rely on Bulgaria to win at least two sets against Spain later tonight.

Serbia-team2

Kolakovic with his team

Slovenia had nothing to lose in this game and entered the match without any psychological burden of a must-win situation. At the same time, the Serbs were making way too many mistakes and the players of coach Veselin Vukovic took advantage of that to take control of the first set. Although Serbia was able to take a 3-point lead at times, the Slovenes persevered at the end and with great efforts in serving and blocking won the set by 25-21.

 

Serbia responded with more efficient attacks in the second set, especially by Aleksandar Atanasijevic, to take a small advantage in the score and maintain it through 20-18.  Then Atanasijevic took the chance to display his powerful serving too as he helped his team score 6 points in a row for a convincing ending of the set.

With a good job done by the Slovenian reception and setter Dejan Vincic, the team’s offense was nicely spread and way more prolific in the third set. Slovenia gradually built up a 5-point lead and was able to maintain it through 21-16. After 22-18, however, Serbia evened things out with 4 consecutive points as substitute Mihajlo Mitic took position behind the serving line and was able to ace twice. The Serbian block also helped in turning the score around to 27-25 with Marko Podrascanin putting the ball down for the last point of the set.

This came as a psychological blow to the Slovenes whose spirit completely dropped down in the fourth set and they were not able to stay competitive against the reigning European champions. Serbia further stepped up its block and with Dragan Stankovic as the top gun in offense too was able to demolish the opponents by 25-15 and secure the precious three points.

Atanasijevic became the top scorer of the match with 19 points for Serbia with Stankovic chipping in with another 17. 17 was also the number of points on the tally of Slovenia’s most prolific player – Alen Pajenk, whose block alone was responsible for 5 of them.

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