Another exciting and tight game closed up the competition in World Grand Prix group F. The host, Serbia, was beaten first time this edition by U.S. National Team, which keep palying modern, fast, and impressive volleyball. Moreover in Belgrade, Algeria set up a new WGP 2013 record of the least number of points in single set scoring only 6 in the third set vs Holland.

The Netherlands – Algeria 3 – 0 (25-15, 25-7, 25-6)

The Netherlands: Dijkema 2, Grothues 12, Belien 8, Flier 11, Plak 5, De Kruijf 16, Schoot (L) and Slöetjes 2, Renkema 2
Algeria: Magnana, Arbouche 3, Abderrahim 5, Mezemate 4, Aissou 3, Boukhima 6, Mansouri (L) and Ousalah, Achour, Saoud

Robin de Kruijf of Netherlands was the star of the match with 16 points, including 8 blocks, while Algeria’s Safia Boukhima led her team with six of their total 28 points.

Algeria, one of three World Grand Prix debutants, is the only nation still waiting for a first win in the competition. With a total 28 points on Sunday, the team was able to avoid recording another record low. In their second match of the World Grand Prix on Aug. 3, the team recorded 26 total points against Japan (10-25, 08-25, 08-25), marking the lowest number ever in the competition since the start of the 25 points-per-set scoring format.

Like the previous two matches during the second weekend of the 2013 World Grand Prix, Algeria could not create any problems to their rivals. Only in the first set they managed to score 15 points against the Dutch women, but the following two were dominated by the Netherlands, as Algeria scored a total of 13 points in sets two and three combined.

The women of the Netherlands entered the court eager to compete, and they were pushing very hard during the whole match. Algeria could not respond to their opponents, and often made unnecessary mistakes. They struggled to score and thru the mid-stage of the match they completely lost confidence.

It was 100th win of the Netherlands in World Grand Prix.

Team stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeDigReceptionSets noteUnforced Errors
Netherlands3746%12102965%57
Algeria1617%411221%1.616

 

Team Leaders:

Actions/PlayersPointsSpike pointsSpike %Spike errorsBlockServeUnforced Errors
Maret Grothues12950%0111
Sofia Boukhima6516%9109

 

World Grand Prix

 

Serbia – USA 2 – 3 (14-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23 12-15)

Serbia: Ognjenovic 2, Mihajlovic 20, Krsmanovic 2, Brakocevic 22, Molnar 4, Rasic 12, Cebic (L) and Zivkovic, Malasevic, Ninkovic 5
USA: A. Glass 2, Hill 11, Harmotto 15, Murphy 25, Hildebrand 11, Gibbmeyer 9, Banworth (L) and Thompson 1, Kichtmann, Faucette 1

Both teams were focused right from the beginning of the match. Players battled hard for each point, and the USA went to the first technical time-out leading with a narrow margin of one point (8-7). However, after the break Kimberly Hill managed to disturb Serbia’s reception from the service line, and in no time the hosts were down 7-12. Coach Terzic tried to win back the momentum with couple of time-outs, and Serbia somewhat consolidated their game, although the deficit by the second technical break augmented to six points (10-16). Coach Terzic then tried with Zivkovic on the setter position instead of captain Ognjenovic, but Serbia only fell more behind (11-19). The loss of the first set was inevitable, and it came with a powerful spike from Kelly Murphy.

Blocking was the strongest U.S. weapon at the start of the third set. The Americans stormed to an early 4-0 lead, and thru the first technical time-out Serbia couldn’t find the way around the U.S. defense on the net (4-8). After the break, Serbia slowly but surely narrowed the gap, and ultimately tied the score at 10 each, with the help of two powerful serves by Brankica Mihajlovic. After a time-out called by coach Kiraly, Serbia went in front (11-10). The hosts were picking up the right pace by the minute and earned a 2-point advantage at the second technical break. Maja Ognjenovic and Brankica Mihajlovic connected well in these moments, so at 17-20, coach Kiraly tried to change something asking for yet another break. When the USA reached a one point deficit (20-21), coach Terzic had to react with a time-out of his own. In an exciting finish, Serbia managed to preserve the advantage and level the match (25-22).

In the beginning of the third set the USA was back in front, going up 8-6 thru the first technical break. Serbia soon tied the score (8-8), but couldn’t hold on to it as the USA regained the momentum and got back in front (13-10). After a time-out for Serbia, the home side stabilized their game and cut the distance before the second technical time-out to two points (14-16). However, after the break Serbia mentally went out of the game due to couple of, by their opinion, questionable decisions of the first referee, and yellow and red card they earned as a consequence, which further widened the gap (15-19). The Americans routinely wrapped up the set at 25-17 to take a 2:1 overall lead.

The initial stage of the fourth set was marked with Jovana Brakocevic’s power serves, including an ace, to take Serbia in front 5-2. However, the USA quickly responded and by the first technical break it was 8-6 for the visiting team. Serbia didn’t let go, they fought hard and reached a 1-point deficit at 11-12. However, after that they stopped and the match started slipping out of their hands as the USA went to the second technical time-out leading 16-12. Serbia found strength for one more push, and it paid off as they forced coach Kiraly to ask for a time-out at 16-15. Serbia couldn’t be stopped in these moments, and the home side was back in front after a long time (18-17). Coach Kiraly called for a time-out once again, but Serbia continued pushing with Jovana Brakocevic back on the service line creating all sorts of problems for the U.S. receivers and taking Serbia to a 3-point lead (20-17). But this one was far from over, as the USA leveled the score at 23. However, the home side was determined not to let this one escape as they quickly brought this set to an end at 25-23, forcing a tie-breaker.

When the U.S. took an early 4-2 lead in the fifth set, coach Terzic had to ask for a time-out. After that, Serbia struggled with serves, but managed to stay close and reach the tie right before changing sides (7-7). The home side continued well and went in front 9-8, when coach Kiraly called for a time-out. Then the U.S. turned the score over in their favor (10-9). Serbia tied, but then lost three points in a row (10-13), which was decisive, as they could not provide one more miracle and get back from such a huge deficit. In the end, a victory for the USA, who took the first place in Pool F with all three wins.

Team Stats:

ActionsSpike pointsSpike %BlockServeDigReceptionSets noteUnforced Errors
Serbia5035%1341944%4.234
USA5743%1272236%5.226

 

Team Leaders:

Actions/PlayersPointsSpike pointsSpike %Spike errorsBlockServeUnforced Errors
Jovana Brakocevic221734%103213
Kelly Murphy252252%2214